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On the 26tli of January 1857, the Master of the UolIs 
suhmitted to the Treasury a proposal for the puhlicatiou 
of materials for the History of tliis Coimtry from the 
Invasion, of the Eomans to the Reign of Henry VIII. 

The Master of the Eolls suggested that these materials 
should he selected for puhlication under competent editors 
without reference to periodical or chronological arrange- 
ment, without mutilation or ahridgment, preference heing 
given, in the first instance, to such materials as were most 
scarce and valuable. 

He proposed that each chronicle or liistorical document 
to he edited should he treated in the same way as if the 
editor were engaged on an Editio Princeps ; and for this 
purpose the most correct text should he formed from an 
accm'ate collation of the best MSS. 

To render the work more generally useful, the Master 
of the Ptolls suggested that the editor should give an 
account of the MSS. employed by him, of their age and 
their peculiarities ; that he should add to the work a brief 
account of the life and times of the author, and any 
remarks necessary to explain the chronology; but no other 
note or comment was to be allowed, except what might 
be necessary to establish the correctness of the text. 

a 2 

Tlie works to be published in octavo, separately, as 
they were finished ; the whole responsibility of the task 
resting upon the editors, who were to be chosen by the 
Master of the Rolls with the sanction of the Treasury. 

The Lords of Her Majesty's Treasiuy, after a careful 
consideration of the subject, expressed their opinion in a 
Treasury Minute, dated February 9, 1857, that the plan 
recommended by the Master of the Ptolls "was well 
calculated for the accomplishment of this important 
national object, in an effectual and satisfactory manner, 
within a reasonable time, and provided proper attention be 
paid to economy, in making the detailed arrangements, 
without unnecessary expense." 

They expressed their approbation of the proposal that 
each chronicle and historical docimient should be edited 
in such a manner as to represent with all possible correct- 
ness the text of each Avriter, derived from a collation of the 
best MSS.j and that no notes should be added, except 
such as were illustrative of the various readings. They 
suggested, however, that the preface to each work should 
contain, in addition to the particulars proposed by the 
Master of the llolls, a biographical account of the author, 
so far as authentic materials existed for that pm^pose, 
and an estimate of his historical credibility and value. 

Bolls flouse^ 

December 1857. 

co'gccDh 'gcce^het ne "sccllaibk 




Specimen of the M.S.L (Book of Leinste-r] 

I)^ i Son.ílimiíad) Li'Ji 

co^ixDh ^cceiDhel no- -^idlaibk 

















Description op the Manuscripts used in forming 

THE Irish Text of the present Work, . . ix 

The Author, and Age of the Work, . . . xix 

Summary of the Contents of the Work, with Topo- 
graphical AND Historical Explanations of the 
Text, xxviii 


Appendix (A). The Fragment of this Work preserved in the 

Book of Leinster, . . . . . . . .221 

Appendix (B). Chronology and Genealogy of the Kings of 
Munster and of Ireland, during the period of the 
Scandinavian Invasions, 235 

Table I. Kings of Ireland descended from the Northern 

Hy Neill (Cinel Eoghain Branch), . . . 245 

Table II. Kings of Ireland descended from the Southern 
Hy Neill (the Chinn Colmáin of Meath, and the 
Clann Aodlia Slaine), ..... 246 

Table III. Genealogy of the Dal Cais, . . . 247 

Table IV. Showing the Descent of Maelmuadh (or 
MoUoy), Lord of Desmond, and his relationship 
to Brian and Mathgamhain, . . . . 248 

Table V. Showing the Descent of the Family of 

O'Donnabhain (or O'Donovan), .... 249 



Appendix (C). Maelseachlainn's Description of the Battle 

OF Clontarf, from the Brussels MS., .... 250 

Appendix (D). Genealogy of the Scandinavian Chieftains 

NAMED as Leaders of the Invasions of Ireland, . . 263 

Table YI. Genealogy (A) of Olaf the White, King of 
Dublin, and (B) of Gormo Gamle, called by the 
Irish Tomar, . . . , . . .264 

Table VII. Genealogy of the Hy Ivar, or Descendants 

oflvar, 268 

(A) Limerick Branch, . . . . .271 

(B) Dul)lin Branch, 276 

(C) Waterford Branch, 292 

Table VIII. Descendants ofCearbhall (or Carroll), Lord 

of Ossory and Danish King of Dublin, . . 297 

(A) Descendants of Cearbhall by his Sons, , 298 

(B) Descendants of Cearbhall by his Daughters, 300 



Description of the Manuscripts. 

The following work has been edited from three Manu- 
scripts, two of them unfortunately imperfect. 

The first and most ancient of these consists of a single I. The 
folio, closely wi'itten on both sides, in double columns. It in th" Book 
is a leaf of the Book of Leinster, now preserved in the of Leinster. 
Library of Trinity College, Dublin. It contains the first 
twenty-nine sections oidy of the work : nevertheless, 
imperfect as it is, this fragment, for many reasons, is so 
important, that the Editor has thought fit to preserve it, 
with a translation, in the Appendix. 

The Book of Leinster^ is a Bihliotheca, or Collection of Date and 
Historical Tracts, Poems, Tales, Genealogies, &c. It was the Book of 
wi'itten by Finn, Bishop of Kildare, or at least, during his Leinster. 
lifetime, for Aedh Mac Crimhthainn, or Hugh Mac 
Griffin, tutor of Diarmait Mac Murchadha [Dermod Mac 
Murrogh], the King of Leinster who was so celebrated 
for his connexion with the Anglo-Norman invasion^ of 
Ireland, in the reign of Henry II. 

The following note occurs in the lower margin of fol. 
206 6. of this MS. It is in a hand closely resembling 
that in which the book itself is written, and certainly of 
the same century : — 

" Life and health from Finn, bishop [i.e., of Kildare^] to Aedh Mac Crimh- 

1 Booh of Leinster. For a short sum- 
mary of its contents, see O'Curry's 
Lectures, p. 187. 

2 Invasion. For this reason he is 
commonly called by the Irish who 
were not of his clan or his adherents, 

Diarmait na nGall, or Dermod of the 

8 Kildare. This explanatory paren- 
thesis is written in the original, as a 
gloss, over the word "bishop," in the 
same handwriting as the note itself. 


tliainn, tutor [pi^xleit^inx)] of the chief king of Leth Mogha [i.e., NuadhatiJ 
and successor^ [comuiibii] of Colum IMac Crimhthainn, and chief historian 
of Leinster in wisdom and knowledge, and cultivation of books, and science 
and learning. And let the conclusion of this little history be written for me 
accurately by thee, O acute Aedh, thou possessor of the sparkling intellect. 
May it he long hefore we are without thee. It is my desire that thou shouldest 
be ahoays with us. Let Mac Lonam's book^ of poems be given to me, that we 
may find out the sense of the poems that are in it, et vale in Christo,* etc." 

Finn, Bishop of Kildare died in T ] CO, according to the 
Annals of the Four Masters.^ He appears to have occu- 

1 Nuadhat. This explanation is also 
in the original, as a gloss, over the word 
Mogha. Diarmait claimed to be King 
of Munster, or Leth Mogha, i.e., Mogh's 
half, the southern half of Ireland, so- 
called from Eoghan Taidhleach, sur- 
named Mogh Nuadhat, or Nuadhat's 
slave. See O'Curry's Battle of Magh 
Lena, p. 3. 

2 Successor. This signifies that Aedh 
was abbot or bishop of Tirdaglass, 
now Terryglass, county of Tipperary ; 
where was a celebrated monastery, 
founded by Colum Mac Crimhthainn, 
who died A.D. 548. 

s Mac Lonain's book. Flann Mac 
Lonain, a celebrated Irish poet, many 
of whose productions are still extant, 
died in 891. 

4 Vale in Christo. The Editor has 
taken theliberty of altering a few words 
of Mr. O'Cuny's translation of this 
curious entry (Lectures, p. 186); but 
the passage in italics he has allowed to 
stand, because although he believes 
Mr. O'Curry's reading of the original 
(App. Ixxxiv) to be wrong, he is un- 
able to correct it. It is very obscure 
in the MS., having been written upon 
an erasure, which has caused some of 
the letters to be blurred or blotted; 
the words which Mr. O'Curry prints 
cmn ■p.o Tfiicem tdo-o (?) Innsnaiy^, 
appear to the Editor to be ciun ^«1^; 
ceiyi tich ic hiiisnaTp, of which he 
can make no sense. It will be ob- 
served that the foregoing note does 

not assert Bishop Finn to have been 
the scribe by whom the Book of Lein- 
ster was written. That he was so, is 
inferred by ]Mr. O'Cuny from the great 
similarity of the handwriting of the 
note to that of the text; and Finn, 
if not the writer of the IMS., was pro- 
bably the writer of the note. The 
" little history," or historic tale, al- 
luded to, if we suppose it to be that 
to which the note refers, ends imper- 
fectly at the bottom of folio 206 b. 
The next leaf begins in the middle 
of a sentence having no connexion 
with what went before; and the de- 
fect is of long standing, for the old 
paginations, made in the fourteenth 
or fifteenth century, take no notice of 
it, the next folio being marked 207. 
The page to which the foregoing note 
is appended contains the story of the 
Progress of Tadhg, son of Cian, son of 
Oilill Olum, into Meath, or the Battle 
of Crinna. See O'Curry, Lect. App. 
Ixxxix, p. 593 ; Keating (in the reign 
of Fergus Dubhdedach) ; O'Flaherty, 
Offi/ff., p. 331-2. The words of the 
note " Let the conclusion of this little 
history 1)6 written for me," appear to 
intimate that the " little history" was 
unfinished when the note was written ; 
and the inference is, that it never was 

^ Four Masters. Finn, it will be 
observed, calls himself "bishop," ndt 
bishop of Kildare, which is a subse- 
quent insertion. This is an evi- 



pied that see since 1148, in which year his predecessor, 
O'Dubhin, died ; but he was a bishop when the foregoing 
note was composed, and therefore the portion of the book 
to which it relates must have been written between the 
years just mentioned, if not before. 

Of Aedh Mac Crimhthainn, the Irish Annals have im- 
fortunately preserved no record ; but if he was tutor to 
King Diai-mait Mac Mm-chadha (who was born in 1110), 
he must have lived very early in the twelfth century. 

It will be observed that the foregoing note is wiitten 
in a strong spirit of partisanship, the writer asserting 
boldly the claim ^ of his chieftain, Diarmait, to be the chief 
King of Leth Mogha, that is, of Leinster and Munster, the 
southern half of Ireland ; and the same spirit appears in 
another place, fol. 200 a., where a hand much more recent 

dence of antiquity, the establishment 
of territorial dioceses being then re- 
cent, and the titles derived from them 
not having as yet come fully into use. 
This prelate assisted at the hSynod of 
KeUs in 1152, according to Keating, 
■svho calls him (as in some copies) " son 
of Cianain," but other copies read 
" son of Tighernain." The Four Mas- 
ters call him Finn Mac Gormain, and 
the Dublin Ann. Tnisfall. (A. D. 1160) 
Mac Gormain, without any Christian 
name. Ware has " Finan (MacTiar- 
cain) O'Gorman." This is, no doubt, 
an error for Finn Mac Cianain O'Gor- 
main, and is an attempt to recon- 
cile the authority of Keating with 
that of the Four Masters. But the 
Four Masters call him Mac Gormain, 
not O'Gormain; there is no inconsis- 
tency in his being Mac Cianain, or son 
of Cianan, and also Mac Gormain. At 
that time Mac Gormain had come to 
be assumed as a patronymic or family 
name, instead of the more correct form 
O'Gormain. See O'Donovan, Topogr. 
Poems, p. liii, note (433). We have 
another instance of this in Kintc Der- 

mod, who is called Mac Murchadha or 
Mac Murrogh, from his grandfather, 
although he was the son of Donn- 
chadh, and ought therefore to have 
been O'ilurrogh. Topogr. Poems, p. 
xlvi, n. (393), and p. 1, n. (405). See 
his genealogy in 0' Donovan's note, 
Four M., A.D. 1052, p. 861. O'FIa- 
herty, Ogyg'uu p. 438. 

1 Claim. The same claim is made in 
another place in this MS. (fol. 20 a) in 
an addition to a list of the kings of 
Leinster, in which Diarmait is thus 
spoken of — "Diaixmaic mac "Don- 
chg'oamaclTluiicha'Da-xlui. Ocur* 
ba 111 Ceciii nioga uile ep'oe, ocu'p 
1T)iTii epT)e. CC éc i pe^ina, lojx 
liibuaTO 011 jca ocu'p achyiisi, in 
.1x1°. anno aecoci'p ■puae. "Di- 
armait, son of Dunchadh, son of Mur- 
chadh [reigned] 46 [years]. And he 
was king of all Leth Mogha and also of 
Meath. He died at Ferns after the 
victorj' of Unction and Penance, in the 
61st year of his age." This note is in a 
hand more recent than that of the MS., 
and was written probably in 1171, 
the vear of King Diarmait's death. 



thau that of the MS., has written in the upper margin, 
the following strong expression' of grief : — 

" [O Mary !] It is a great deed that is done in Erinn this day, the kalends 
of August. Dermod, son of Donnchadh Mac Murchadha, King of Leinster and 
of the Danes,- was banished by the men of Ireland over the sea eastward. 
Uch ! Uch ! O Lord ! what shall I do." 

The event thus so pathetically lamented took place in 
the year 1 1 66.^ We know not who it was that so recorded 
his despair ; but the note is evidence that this book, to 
which the name of " Book of Leinster" has been given, 
was written in the lifetime of Dermod Mac Murrogh, and 
was, most probably, his property, or that of some eminent 
personage amongst his followers or clansmen, before the 
English invasion. 

These circumstances are important, as proving beyond 
all reasonable doubt, that the copy of the present work 
which this MS. once contained,'* and of which only a single 
folio leaf remains, must have been wiitten in the twelfth 
centuiy, and the original must therefore have been stiU 
earlier. The author mentions no event later than the 
battle of Clontarf, A.D. 1014, and was probably a con- 
temporary and follower, as he certainly was a strong 
partizan, of King Brian Borumha, who fell in that battle. 
The MS. of which we are now treating was, therefore, 
written certainly before 1166, and probably within the 
century after the death of the author of the work. 
This MS. The editor in the notes upon the first twenty-eight chap- 
denoted by ^gj.g Qp sections of the text, has distinguished the various 

the letter '^ 

^Expression. Seetheoriginallrishin 
O'Curry's Lectures, ^TJ/jewd No. Ixxxv. 
The first words, "O Mary," are now 
so obscure in the MS. that they can 
only be considered as a conjectural 
restoration suggested by Mr. O'Currj-. 

^ Danes. Meaning the Danes of 

3 Year 1166. See Four Masters. 
The foregoing note gives us the addi- 
tional fact that Dermod fled on the Ist 

* Contained. The Book of Leinster 
is now very imperfect. The Editor 
found eleven of the original folia of it 
at St. Isidore's College, Rome. They 
were probably lent to Colgan, in ac- 
cordance with a practice which has 
proved injurious to many of our Irish 
MSS. They contain some of the works 
of Aengus the Culdee, and also the 
Martyrology of Tallaght, wanting No- 
vember and the first sixteen days of 

of August. December, by the loss of a leaf. 



readings of this MS.^ by the letter L. It exhibits several 
peculiarities of spelling, interesting to the philological 
student of the Celtic languages ; but it has not been 
thought necessary to notice all these, as the whole of this 
valuable fragment has been preserved in the Appendix^. 

The second Manuscript employed in forming the text ii. The 
of the present work, is also a fragment, although a ^u^i^inMS- 

Í , ' ... . denoted by 

more considerable one, and is likewise preserved in the the letter 
Library of Trinity College, Dublin. We have called this ^' 
the Dublin MS., and its readings are marked D. in the 

This copy was found about the year 1840, by the late its age. 
eminent scholar, Mr. O'Curry, bound up^ in one of the 
Seabright MSS., formerly in the possession of the cele- 
brated antiquary, Edward Lh\yd. There is notliing 
except the appearance of the MS. and its handwriting to 
fix its age ; but judging from these criteria we cannot 
be far wi'ong in supposing it to have been wi-itten about 
the middle of the fom'teenth century.^ It is imperfect 
both at the beginning and at the end : wanting from the 
first to the fifth chapters inclusive, at the beginning, and 
from the middle'^ of chapter cxiii. to the end of the work. 
There are also some intervening defects, arising from a 

1 This MS. The mitial letter, B., 
p. 2, is an exact fac-simile of the initial 
with which this MS. begins. 

2 Appendix. Some few examples of 
the peculiarities alluded to are given, 
p. 223, note 3. They may, probably, 
be regarded as characteristic of the 
old Leinster dialect of the Irish lan- 

3 Bound up. It occurs in the MS. 
H. 2, 17, and was described by Dr. 
O'Donovan in his unpublished Cata- 
logue of the Irish MSS. in the Library 
of Trinity CoUege, Dublin, under the 
date of Jan. 1840. But this frag-ment 
was undoubtedly first identified, as con- 

taining the long lost Danish wars, by 
Mr. O'Curry, who says {Lectures, p. 
232), "Of this tract I had the good 
fortune, some sixteen j^ears ago, to dis- 
cover an ancient but much soiled and 
imperfect copy in the Library of Trinity 
College." The Lecture in which this 
statement occurs was delivered June 
19, 1856. 

* Fourteenth century. Mr. O'Curry 
says, " The ancient fragment must 
be nearly as old as the chief events 
towards the conclusion of the war." 
Ibid. This is certainly a mistake. 

5 Middle. See p. 199, line 9 from 



III. The 

copy, de- 
noted by 
the letter 

loss of leaves in the MS. A list' of these defects is 
given below. 

The orthography of this MS. is far from correct. It 
omits almost uniformly the eclipsed letters, and those 
which are quiescent or dropped in ordinary pronunciation : 
a circumstance which frequently causes considerable dif- 
ficulty. To enable the reader more easily to understand 
what is meant, some examples, selected almost at random, 
are given below in the note.^ They are evidence of an 
impure orthography, and of a j)eriod when the language 
was in its decline. 

The third MS. is a paper copy preserved in the Bur- 
gundian Library, Brussels, which has the advantage of 
being perfect. It is in the handwi-iting of the eminent 
Irish scholar, Friar Michael O'Clery, by whom it was 
transcribed in the year 1635. This appears by the fol- 
lowing note at the end : — 

CC'p í/eat5aift Conconnacc í "Oalaig 
•DO ^ccyiiolj an byicrcaiiT, bocc Tlli- 
cíieió Cleyii5 an coip af aifi y^ccyiio- 
baT) fo, Til cconuemc na bnataii 
1 mbaile T^ige ■pa^xannain, a mi 
TDaiaca na biia-ona •po 1628, ocuy 
yio Y'ccyiiobaT) an coip ■po la-p an 
Tibifiátaiii céT)na i cconueinr; T)úin 
na n'gatl, a mip 'Nouenibeifi na 
bba'óna fo 1G35. 

Out of the book of Cuconnacht 
O'Daly, the poor friar Michael O'Clery 
wrote the copy from which this was 
written, in the convent of the friars in 
Baile Tighe Farannain, in the month 
of March of this year 1628; and this 
copy was written by the same friar in 
the convent of Dun-n"a-nGall [Done- 
gal], in the montli of November of tliis 
year 1635. 

1 List. Part of chap. xxx. and xxxi. 
(see p. 35) is wanting in D., also from 
the second line of ch. xxxiii. to the 
seventh line of ch. xxxvii. (pp. 39-43). 
Again, from the last two lines of ch. 
Ivi. (p. 85) to line 5 of ch. Ixi. (p. 92) ; 
from the middle of ch. Ixvii. (p. Ill) to 
the middle of ch. Ixix. (last line of p. 
115) ; ch. Ixx. (p. 117) to Ime 7 of ch. 
Ixxii. (p. 1 19) ; and from ch. Ixxvi. (p. 
133) to the middle of ch. Ixxx. (line 
1, p. 141). 

2 N^ote, The omission of p is very 
common, as in 'oacicin for-opacicin ; 

"oacil^ for Tjpacil; e-o for pe-o ; aj;- 
bail for pagbail ; oyicu for po|xcu ; 
baii. for bpail or bopail; "oo tiegfia 
for -DO ■piiegiia ; imctgu-p for impa- 
^vf, ecocaifi for -pecacayi ; acp^om 
for pacpom ; YiegaiYi for ppiegaiifi. 
The omission of t), as in 'oiobai'D for 
'opio'obai'D ; man for -onian. The 
omission of t, as •pen'oucup for r-en- 
■Duécup^; cai6 for cacaiB; of b, as 
muna'Dtip for nibuna'oup; apasu-o 
for bapaguT) ; and of m, as ciinig for 
cumnij;. Some other instancesare men- 
tioned in the notes. 



From this we should, perhaps, infer that Michael 
O'Clery made two copies of the tract on the Danish 
Wars, one in March, 1628, in the Convent of Baile-Tighe 
Faramiain (now Multyfarnham, in the county of West- 
meath), "out of the Book of Cuconnacht O'Daly;" and 
another, probabh^ taken fi-om his former copy, in Novem- 
ber, 1635, when he was in the Convent of Donegal. This 
latter transcript is the book now in the Brussels Library, 
which has been used in forming the text of the present 
work, whenever the Dublin MS. was defective. Its various 
readings are distinguished in the notes by the letter B. 

The Book of Cuconnacht O'Daly is now unknown; but Book of Cu- 
lts owner or compiler was probably the same who is de- o'dTi'^^*^ 
scribed by the Four Masters, as a chief bard^ or historian, 
and a native or resident of Lackan, in Westmeath. He 
died, according to the same authorities, at Clonard, in 
Meath, A.D. 1189. Lackan^ is close to Multyfarnham, 
and it was natm-al that the book, compiled by its gi'eat 
bard, should be preserved in the neighbouiing Franciscan 
Abbey. From these facts it seems probable that the Book 
of Cuconnacht O'Daly was a " Bibliotheca," or a collection 
of historical documents, transcribed in the early part of 
the twelfth century, and therefore of about the same date 

1 Clnefhard. CCiT.'Doltaiii l^é "Dan. 
Four M. at the year 1139. For the si- 
tuation of Lackan, see Dr. O'Donovan's 
note, Fmr M. at A.D. 746, p. 349. 
The genealogy of Cuconnaght O'Daly 
•Nvill be found iu the " Historical Sketch 
of the family of O'Daly," prefixed to 
Aenghus O'Daly's Tribes of Ireland, 
edited by Dr. O'Donovan. Dublin, 
(John O'Daly) 1852. 

2 Lackan. In the gloss on the FeUre 
of Aengus, at June 28 (Brussels copy), 
the situation of Lackan is thus de- 
scribed: Leacuin ainni an cempuiL?y 
Ciiuimne y.é cao5 Ouailce [for 
inbaile Tije] Paiiannain. "Lea- 
can is the name of the church of S. 

Cruimmin, near Buailte Farannain." 
The abbey of Multyfarnham continued 
in the possession of Franciscan friars, 
notwithstanding the suppression, and 
in 1641 was the head quarters of the 
Confederate Koman Catholics. See 
Cox, Eib. Angl. ii., App. p. 41. This 
occasioned the dispersion of the friars ; 
but within the present century a 
convent has been re-established there, 
and buildings erected in the ruins of the 
ancient house. See Sir H. Piers's ac- 
count of Westmeath, in Vallancey's 
Collectanea, i., p. 68. The abbey of 
Donegal also continued in the posses- 
sion of the friars until the times of 
Cromwell, but is now in utter ruin. 






as the Book of Leinster, of which we have akeady spoken. 
It follows that the original of the Wars of the Danes and 
Irish, which was copied into these collections, must have 
had some celebrity before the year 1139, when O'Daly 
died, and was therefore, probably, composed before the 
end of the preceding century. 

Michael O'Clery, the transcriber of the Brussels MS., 
was a lay brother of the order of St. Francis, and is cele- 
brated as having been the chief of the compilers of the 
gi-eat Chronicle known as the Annals of the Four Masters. 
His original Christian name^ was Tadhg, Teague or Teige, 
and he was commonly called Tadhg an tsleihhe, or 
"Teige of the Mountain," before he took the name of 
Michael in religion. 

In his transcript of the Danish Wars, he has modernized 
taken with ^|^g spelling:, and has probably introduced other more 

the original r o' i >/ 

MS. from serious deviations from the text of O'Daly 's MS. He 

-which he intended his copy for the use of his contemporaries, and 
transcribed. i ii- i/. ti 

therefore, perhaps, deemed himseu at liberty to adopt the 
modern orthogi'aphy and other gi'ammatical peculiarities 
which would be to them most intelligible. This cii'cum- 
stance no doubt has greatly diminished the value of his 
manuscript, especially as we cannot be certain whether 
his departure from the ancient original was confined to 
such minor alterations.^ It was unfortmiately the cus- 
tom of Irish scribes, to take considerable liberties with 
the works they transcribed. They did not hesitate to 
insert poems and other additional matter, with a view 
to gratify their patrons or chieftains, and to flatter the 
vanity of their clan. It is to be feared, that for the same 
reason, they frequently omitted what might be disagi-ee- 
able to their patrons, or scandalous to the Church ; thus 

1 Christian name. For an account 
of this distinguished antiquary, see 
O'Donovan's Introduction to the Four 
Masters, and O'Curry's Lectures. 

2 Alterations. See p. 83, where 
O'CIen* has sub.-itituted an " etc." for 

the words "for the good of the souls 
of the foreigners who were killed in 
the battle:" which words, taken in 
connexion with the context in which 
they stand, are certainly very obscure. 
But they occur in the Dublin MS. 



they were unconsciously guilty of anachronisms and 
various mistakes, which have the effect of thi'owing dis- 
credit upon the works so transmitted to us, as disproving 
apparently their claim to antiquity. 

Evidence of such interpolations is abundantly afforded Evidence 
by a comparison of the three MSS. employed in this i^ionsTn" 
edition of the Danish Wars. The ancient MS. in the the MSS. 
Book of Leinster, although a mere fragment, is of great 
importance in this point of view. It proves, for example, 
that the lists of the Kings' of Ireland and Munster in the 
Brussels MS. are an interpolation. The original work 
gave only the names of the King of Ireland and of the 
contemporary King of Munster, in whose times the 
pirate fleets fii-st made their appearance. In the Brus- intei-poia- 
sels MS. there is inserted after this, a full list of both ^Jj°g°^jg ^ 
series of kings during the whole period of the Scandi- 
navian invasions. We find also passages given as mar- 
ginal notes in the older MS., which are received into the 
text, and sometimes, perhaps, misunderstood,^ or incor- 
rectly transcribed, in the later copy. But the O'Clery 
MS., notwithstanding these defects, is of great value. It is 
certainly an independent authority. It contains four 
poems which are not in the Dublin copy. Three of these 
are in the form of a dialogue between Mathgamhain'' 
and Brian, and the fourth is said to have been the com- 
position of " Mathgamhain's blind bard." They are evi- 
dently interpolations made by some transcriber who was 
attached to Brian's party. The first (p. 63) is an apology 
for Brian's difficulties, when, as we are told, his followers 
were reduced to fifteen ; and it contains a gentle censure 
of Mathgamhain for being "too quiescent" towards the 
foreigners. The second (p. 77) celebrates the victory of 
the Dal Cais over the foreigners, at Sulcoit. The third 
(p. 81) attributed to " the poet," who is not named, cele- 

1 Kings. See chaps, ii., iii., and Ap- 
pend. A, p. 22 1. 

2 Misunderstood. See the note i, p. 
222. Compare also p. 8, note *. 

3 Mathgamhain. This name is pro- 
nounced Mahun. or Mahoon, the accent 
behig on the last syllable, Dal- Cais is 
pronounced Dal-Cash. 



brates the defeat of the Danes of Limerick : and the last 
(p. 97), by Mathgamhain's " blind bard," is an elegy, not 
without spirit, on the treacherous murder of that chief- 
Interpola- Qn the otlier hand, the Dublin frao-ment contains some 

tions in - •Till 11 !• 

the MS. D. passages oi considerable length, both m prose and verse, 
which are not in the Brussels copy. For example, the 
poetical address' from Gilla-Comhgaill O'Slebhin, ui'ging 
Aedh, or Hugh, O'Neill to join King Maelsechlainn against 
Brian ; the description^ of the march of Brian's army to 
Clontarf, with the arrival of the auxiliaries Fergal 
O'Rourke, and his followers ; the bombastic account of 
the enemy's forces and their arms, as contrasted with 
Brian's troops^; and the combat of Dunlaing of the Liffey, 
who is said to have been defeated and beheaded by Fer- 
gal O'Rom^ke* in this battle, although the Annals of 
Ulster and the Four Masters give a difierent account of 
his death. 

In noting the various readings detected by a collation 
of the MSS., the editor has taken no notice of mere dif- 
ferences of spelling except in some rare instances. Irish 
orthography, in the twelfth centuiy, was so unsettled, and, 
indeed, is still so unsettled, that the same word is fre- 
quently written by the same scribe in different speUings 
on the same page. To note all such variations would 
have swoUen the work to a size out of all proportion to 
the value of the information so collected. 


^Address. See ch. Ixxiii. p. 121. 
Giolla Comhgaill O'Slebhin, or Ua 
Slebhene, died in 1031, according to the 
Four Masters, who call him " chief poet 
(pyiiiii-ollarii) of the North of Ire- 
land." The date of his mission to 
O'Neill, here alluded to, was 1002 or 

^Description. Chap. Ixxxix., p.l55. 

^ Troops, Chap, xcviii., p. 171. 

^ Feryal G'Rourlce. Chap, ci., p. 
177. It is worthy of note that B. 
(O'Clery's copy) omits everything con- 
nected with Fergal and his presence 
in the battle : neither is he mentioned 
by the Four Masters, who naturally 
followed the authority of O'CIery, who 
was one of them. 


The A uthor and Age of the Work. 

The Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh, or " Wars of the The work 
Gael with the Gaill," that is to say, of the Irish with the g.°^g° 
Norsemen, has been frequently quoted by Keating. It Coigan,and 
was known also to Colgan ; and the Four Masters have jjag^e"^ 
occasionally transfen'ed its veiy words to their pages. It 
is mentioned also by Mac Cui'tin^ and O'Halloran,^ who 
cite it as in theii' time an accessible authority of which the 
original was well known. But for many years all copies 
of it were supposed to have perished, until the discovery of 
the Dubhn MS. by Mr. O'Cuny, in 1840. Soon after- 
wards it was ascertained that another copy was preserved 
at BiTissels, together with some other Irish MSS. of great 
interest. Tlie Editor accordingly went there in Aug-ust, Collation 
18-Í8, and made a full collation of the Brussels copy, with Brussels 
the Dubhn MS., transcribing all that was necessary to MS. by the 
supply the deficiencies of the latter. Afterwards, through 
the influence of the Earl of Clarendon, then Lord Lieu- 
tenant of Ireland, he obtained from the Belgian Govern- 
ment a loan of this and some other MSS., and in 1853 
caused a complete copy of it to be made by Mr. O'Curry Transcript 
for the Library of Trinity CoUege, Dublin. These trans- g,jí ^^ ^'•• 
cripts have been carefully collated in fonning the text of 
the present edition. 

The work has external as well as internal evidence of Evidence of 
antiquity. Its author, as we have seen, was a con- ^°*^i^^- 
temporaiy and strong partizan of King Brian Borumha. 
It exliibits many traces of the political feehngs engen- 
dered by the intestine dissensions of the Dal Cais, and 

'^ Mac Curtin. "Discourse in Vin- , authority for any thing relating to the 

dication of the Antiquity of Ireland :" Danish -wars in Ireland." 
Dublin, 4°, 1717, p. 171, 175, 181, et { ^ 0' Halloran. "Hist, of Ireland," 

passim. In p. 204, he says, " Coga I vol. ii., p. 153. 4°, Lond. 1778. 
GaU h Gaoidkealuibh is the onlv best 



Its author, 
said to be 
Mac Liag. 

No ancient 
for this. 

their contest for sovereignty with the Clann Cohnain, ' in 
the tenth and eleventh centuries. Copies of it were pre- 
served in the historical collections made by eminent anti- 
quaries in the early part of the twelfth century. The 
author makes no use of the era Anno Domini, but dates 
from the reigns of the Kings of Ireland and Mimster ; 
sometimes also from local events^ in the provincial history 
of Ireland. 

Dr. O'Conor^ asserts without hesitation that the author 
of this work was Mac Liag, whose death is recoided by 
the Four- Masters, at the year 1015 (the true date being 
10] 6), in these words : — 

" Mac-Liag, i.e., Muircheartach, son of Cucheartach, chief poet (ard-ollcmiK) 
of Ireland at that time, died." 

In the Dublin Annals of Innisfallen, at A.D. 1016, the 
same event is thus recorded : — 

" Mac-Liag, i.e., Muircheartach beg, son of Mael-ceartach, chief poet (ard- 
ollamh) of Ireland, died in [the island called] Inis-an-Gaill-duibh, in the 

But the editor has not discovered any ancient authority 
for attributing this work to Mac Liag*. The Four Mas- 

1 Clann Colmain. See Geneal. Table 
II., Append. B., p. 242. The kings of 
Ireland, Maelseachlainn I. and Mael- 
seachlainn II., were the hereditaiy 
chieftains of the Clann Colmain, or 
descendants of Colman mór, son of 
Diarmait, King of Ireland, A.D. 544, 
of the Southern Hy Neill. See pp. 131 
and 181. 

2 Local events. See ch. iv., p. 5 ; 
ch. xiv., p. 1 5 ; ch. xxiii., p. 23 ; ch. 
xxvii., p. 29. O'Flaherty, Ogygia, 
Pref. p. [40], is of opinion that the 
vulgar Christian era was not used in 
Ireland until after the year 1020. 

^ Dr. 0' Conor. In his list of the 
ancient authorities quoted or employed 
by the Four ISIasters in the compila- 
tion of their Annals, Dr. O'Conor thus 
Bpeaks of the present work : — " xlviii. 

Coccadh Gall la Gaoidhil, Bella Alieni- 
genarum cum Hibemis. Auctore Mac 
Liago Scriptore saiculo xi. Vide iv. 
Mag. ann. 1015." Eer. Hib. Scriptt., 
vol. i. Epist. Nuncup., p. Ivi. 

4 Mac-Liag. The Four Masters, 
immediately after the words above 
quoted, give the first and the last 
quatrains of verses composed by Mac- 
Liag. In the former of these he calls 
himself "Muircheartach beg, son of 
Mael-certaich;" and O'Flaherty, Ogyg. 
p. 334, tells us that he was of the 
family of O'Conchearta of Lig-gna- 
thaile, in Corann, a territory which 
included the barony of Galeng, or 
Gallen, in the county of Mayo, toge- 
ther with the barony of Luighne, now 
Leyney, and the present barony of 
Corann, in the county of Sligo. Mael- 



ters make no mention of its author. Mac Cui-tin and 

O'Halloran, who have quoted it by the Irish title it still 

bears, are silent as to the author's name. Even O'Reilly/ 

in his list of Mac Liag's works, omits the Cogadh Gaedhil 

re Gallaibh. Colgan had a copy of it, the same most Coigan 

probably which is now in the Brussels Collection. He ™e„tTon"of 

the author. 

certaigh and Cucertaigh seem to have 
been used as .synonymous for the 
family name of the poet ; and ]Mac 
Liag was, probably, not his Christian 
name, but an appellation given to dis- 
tinguish him from the many others 
of the family who were named Muir- 
cheartach, or Moriarty. For the same 
reason he appears to have been called 
Muircheartach beg, or the little. His 
tribe name, Mael-certaich, signifies 
the devoted servant of, tonsured in 
honour of Certach ; and Cu-certaich, 
the hound, or dog of, that is, the 
faithful servant of, Certach, who was, 
no doubt, one of the many saints of 
that name. There was a saint Mac 
Liag, descended from CoUa Uais, King 
of Ireland in the fourth centurj^, 
(Alartyrol. of Donegal, 8 Feb.) ; and 
the Christian name Gilla-Mic-Liag, 
or servant of Mae Liag, was used 
in the eleventh century. The Four 
Masters mention the death of IMac 
Conmara Ua Mic Liag, or grandson 
of Mac Liag, A.D. 1048; and the 
Annals of Ulster record the death of 
Cumara mac mic Liag, or son of Mac 
Liag, whom they call Ard ollamh 
Erenn, or chief poet of Ireland, and 
who seems to have succeeded his fa- 
ther, the bard of Brian Borumha, in 
that office^ Hence it appears that 
Mac Mic Liag and O'Liag had come 
to be used as surnames to denote this 
particular branch of the familv. Be- 
sides the Book of the Danish Wars, 
now published, Mac Liag is said to 

have written a Life of Brian Borumha, 
and a book of the Battles of ISIunster. 
They are quoted by Mac Curtin as 
three distinct works, and as extant in 
his time ; that is to say, at the begin- 
ning of the last century. Dr. O'Conor 
refers to Mac Curtin for the existence 
of these books, and therefore was pro- 
bably not himself acquainted with 
them. Rer. Hib. Scriptt.,\o\.\. Proleg. 
part ii. Elenchtis, p. 7. Probably the 
Book of Munster Battles may be the 
same as the Leabhar Oiris agus annala 
ar cogthaibh agus ar cathaihh Erenn, 
" The Book of Antiquity and Annals 
of the Wars and Battles of Ireland," 
which O'Reilly says he had in his pos- 
session, and which he tells us, although 
it professes to treat of the "wars and 
battles of Ireland," is in reality con- 
fined to the battles of Munster. Trans. 
Ibemo-Celtw Society, p. Ixx. It is now 
in the Library of the Royal Irish 
Academy. The late James Hardi- 
man, Irish Minstrelsy, vol. ii., p. 361, 
sq., has published some extracts from 
this book in the original Irish, which 
prove, beyond a doubt, that the work 
must have been of a much later age 
than that of Mac Liag, or that if it was 
by him, the phraseologj' and language 
must have been greatly modernized by 
its transcribers. The specimens of it 
printed by Mr. Hardiman are in a 
dialect of Irish which cannot be older 
than the seventeenth century. 

1 O'Reilly. Trans. Ibemo-Celtic So- 
ciety, p. Ixx. Dublin, 1820. 



does not 
name the 

has given the following account' of it, in which, however, 
he says nothing of its author : — 

" I have a full history written of these wars of Ireland, which in the Tiilgar 
tongue is called Cogadh Gaoidhel re Gallaihh, i.e., Wars of the Irish with the 
foreigners ; in which from A.D. 812, when (as Eginhard, or some other author of 
the same age, in his Life of Charlemagne, says) ' The fleet of the Northmen in- 
vaded Ireland, the island of the Scoti ; and after a battle with the Scots, an innu- 
merable multitude of the Northmen was destroyed, and in an ignominious flight 
returned home.' Almost everj' j'ear afterwards we read of fresh battles and 
conflicts of the Irish with the Danes and Northmen, untU the year 1012 or 
1013 [read 1014], when, in a great battle fought on the plain of Cloutarf, near 
Dublin, with very great slaughter on both sides, the strength of each was so 
irreparably weakened, that neither people has since been able, even to the present 
day, to recover its original strength and power. For there fell in that battle the 
principal chieftains and nobles both of the Irish and Northmen, with the far- 
famed Kmg of Ireland himself, Brian Borumha, or Bororaoeus ; who, says 
Marianus Scotus, on Good Friday, 9 Kal. Maii, was slain, his hands and mind 
intent on prayer to God," 

Keating also, at the commencement of his history of 
the invasions of the Northmen, in the reign of Aedh Oir- 
nidhe, quotes^ the Cogadh Gall re Gaedhiolaihh imder 
that name, as his principal source of information, and 
tells us that his narrative is only an abridgment of that 
work. He says nothin_^ however, of its author. Can it 
be believed that these eminent authorities could all have 
been ignorant of the fact that the work had been composed 

1 Accotint. " Extat apud me Integra 
historia de his bellis Hibernice con- 
scripta, quae vulgari sennone Cogadh 
gaoidhel re gallaihh, i.e. bella Hibemo- 
rum cum alienigenis, nuncupatur; in 
qua ab anno Christi 812, quo (inquit 
Eginardus, vel alius author ejusdem 
saeculi, in vita Caroli magni,) Classis 
Nortmannorum Hiberniam, Scotorum 
insulam, aggressa; commisso p'oelio cum 
Scotis, innumerabilis multitiido Nort- 
mannorum extincta est, et turpiter fu- 
giendo reversi sunt : singulis ptene 
annis leguntur nova prielia et con- 
flictiis Hibernorum, cum Danis et 
Normannis, usque ad annum Christi 
1012, vel 1013, quo ingenti prailio, in 

campo de Cluain-Tarbk, juxta Dub- 
linium commisso, cum summa utri- 
usque partis clade, rautuas vires ita 
irreparabiliter debilitanmt, ut neutra 
gens, in hunc usque diem, pristinam 
recuperaverint potentiam vel vires. 
Occubuerunt enim in eo pra^io prx- 
cipui et Hibernorum et Nortmannorum 
Principes et Proceres, cum ipso longe 
celebri Hiberniíe Rege, Briano Bo- 
roimhe, seu Boroma!0 ; qui, inquit Ma- 
rianus Scotus ; ipso Parasceve Puschae 
feria, 9 Calendas Maii, manihus et 
mente in Deum intentus, necatur.'' 
Actt. SS., p. 106, col. 2, n. 3. 

2 Quotes. O'Connor's Transl., p. 418. 
O'Mahony's Trans]., p. 495. 


by Mac Liag, the " cliief poet of Ireland," the bard of 
King Brian himself, or, knowing this, could have con- 
cealed a circumstance so important to its authenticity? 
And if Keating, the Four Masters, and Colgan were 
ignorant of its authorship in the seventeenth century, 
how did Dr. O'Conor, in the nineteenth, acquire the infor- 
mation on the subject^ which enabled him to attribute it 
so dogmatically to Mac Liag ? 

Mac Liag died, as we have seen, in 1016, two years Not impos- 
only after his master, Brian. He had, therefore, it may ^^^^^ ^^^ 
be said, but a short time to compile this work, which is may have 
brought down to the year of the battle of Clontarf, in ^uthoV^ 
which Brian fell. But it was surely not impossible, that 
in two years a diligent and well read author should have 
composed such a history. He might have had the earlier 
part of it wi'itten and lying by him long before. Neither 
is it a conclusive argument that a stanza of poetry of 
which Mac Liag is himself said to have been the author, 
is quoted^ in the book. This may have been one of the 
interpolations which we know were introduced into later 
ti'anscripts. Or the author himself may have quoted one 
of his OAvn poems, naming himself, which is not unusual, 
in the third person. It may be fairly urged, however, that 
if the transcribers had believed Mac Liag to have been the 
author of the prose narrative, whether they had found the 
poetical quotation in the original MS. or not, they would 
scarcely have passed over the opportunity of saying so. 

There are one or two other apparent indications of a Apparent 
more recent date, which may be properly noticed here, 'ntiications 
One of these is that the Danes are made to speak English, recent date. 
This would have been a natural mistake enough for an 
Irish author of a period subsequent to the twelfth cen- 
tury, who was not well versed in Teutonic languages. The 
English were generally, and indeed are still very com- 

1 On the subject. Dr. O'Conor gives I 2 Quoted. This stanza (four lines) is 
no authority for his statement. His introduced by the words, "of whicli 
words are quoted above, p. xx, note 2. ' Mac Liag said." See p. 95. 


moiily called in Ireland by the same name of Gaill, or 
foreigners, which was given to the Norsemen. But the 
mistake, however natural, could not have been committed 
before the English invasion, and therefore, if the words 
are really English, and were so written by the original 
author, they would be evidence against the early date of 
the work. But this is by no means certain. We are told 
(p. 175), that "Plait, son of the King of Lochlainn," 
having been challenged by Domhnall Mac Enihin, a 
Scottish chieftain, to single combat, cried out at the head 
of the troops on the following morning, " Faras Domhnall," 
which the Irish historian ti'anslates into his own tongue, 
Cait ita Domhnall, Where is DomhnaU? Faras, how- 
ever, may be an attempt to represent the pronunciation 
of the Danish Hvar er, although it certainly looks more 
like the English Where is. In another place (p. 203), 
we read that when the Earl Brodar, after the battle, 
rushed into Brian's tent, one of his followers cried out, 
" Kinof, King." Brodar, seeing that Brian had been at 
prayers, answered, " No, No ; but prist, prist." These 
words are apparently English ; nevertheless the original 
Danish may have been translated into English, by 
modem transcribers. The portion of the naiTative in 
which the words occur, exists only' in the Brussels MS. ; 
and it is not improbable that O'Clery, transcribing in 
the seventeenth century, and familiar with the Enghsh 
language, may have written king for kange, pri«i for 
2)restr, and no for né ; or else that all this may be an in- 
terpolation. These consideiations render it impossible to 
regard this argument as absolutely conclusive against the 
early date of the work. 
The O'La- There is another difficulty. Brian's servant, or per- 
Murfster soual attendant, who was with him during the battle 

1 Exists only. That is to say, the j Liag's Life of Brian, printed by Mr. 

Brussels MS. is the only one which Hardiman, Minstrelsy, ii. p. 3G4, al- 

contains the portion of the narrative though it gives the same account of the 

inwhichthese seemingly English words death of Brian, says nothing of these 

now occur. The extract from Mac I supposed Danish or English words. 



(see p. ] 97), is said to have been named Latean, and it is 
added, "from whom are [descended] the O'Lateans still 
in Munster." It is clear that the original author, if he 
had wi-itten when Latean, the ancestor of this family, was 
alive, could not possibly have thus spoken of his descend- 
ants ; but a clause of this kind is just the sort of inter- 
polation^ that a scribe, living at a later period, when the 
family of O'Latean had multiplied, would have natm-ally 
introduced, forgetting the anachronism of which he thereby 
made his author guilty. 

On the whole we may conclude that, although the work The author 
in its present form is modernized and interpolated, the porarv of" 
original of it was nevertheless undoubtedly ancient.^ idng Brian. 
There is no evidence to prove that its author was Mac 
Liag, the bard of the Dal Cais, in the court of King Brian 
Borumha. But its author was either himself an eye- 
mtness of the battle of Clontarf, or else compiled his narra- 
tive from the testimony of eye-witnesses. He was certainly, 
as we have already observed, a partizan of king Brian, 

That the work was compiled from contemporary The work 
materials may be proved by curious incidental evidence, f °™^'<!on. 
It is stated in the account^ given of the Battle of Clon- temporary 
tarf, that the full tide in Dublin Bay on the day of the 
battle (28rd April, 1014), coincided with sunrise; and that 
the returning tide at evening, aided considerably in the 
defeat of the enemy. 

It occurred to the Editor, on considering this passage, 
that a criterion might be derived from it to test the truth 


1 Interpolation. The parenthesis, 
" from whom are the O'Lateans still 
in Munster," is not in the extract from 
the " Life of Brian," printed by Mr. 
Hardiman, Ihid.^ p. 3G4. This adds 
some probability to the conjecture that 
the parenthesis in question is an inter- 

~ Ancient. In chap, xlii., p. 55, a 
poem by Cuan O'Lochan, "the poet 
and chief sage (oi/Lam) of Erinn and 
Alba," as he is there styled, is quoted. 
This poet, according to the Irish An- 

nals, died in 1024, ten years after the 
Battle of Clontarf. He was chief poet 
or bard in the court of King Mael- 
seachlainn, or Malachy II. See Dr. 
O'Donovan's Introd. to the Book of 
Eights, p. xlii. sq. The fact, therefore, 
that some of his verses are quoted is 
no objection to the antiquity of the 
present work; the verses may have 
been composed many years before his 

^Account. See chap, evii., p. 191 




of the narrative, and of tlie date assigned by the Irish 
Annals' to the Battle of Clontarf. He therefore proposed 
to the Rev. Samuel Haughton, m.d., Fellow of Trinity Col- 
lege, and Professor of Geology in the University of Dublin, 
to solve for him this problem : — " What was the hour of 
high water, at the shore of Clontarf, in Dublin Bay, on the 
23rd of April, 1 014 ?" The Editor did not make known to 
Dr. Haughton the object he had in view in this question, 
and the coincidence of the result obtained with the ancient 
narrative, is therefore the more valuable and cimous. 
Calculation Dr. Haughton communicated the particidars of his cal- 
of high culation to the Royal Irish Academy in May, 1861, in the 

water at following words"^ : 

the battle *= 

of Clontarf. " From twelve o'clock, noon, of the 23rd April, 1014, to the noon of the 12th 
December, 1860, allowing for the change of stj-le and leap years, there were 
309,223 real days. 

"The synodical period of the moon is 29-530588715 daj'S, and new moon 
occurred on the 12th December, 1860, at 47'6 minutes after noon. Multiply- 
ing the length of the sjiiodical month by 10472 months, we find 

29-530588715 X 10472 = 309244-325 days. 
From which, subtracting the number of days from 23rd April, 1014, to 12th 
December, 1860, or 309,223 days, we find 

21-325 daj's, or 21d 7^ 48™. 

1 Annals. The Annals of Ulster give 
the date A.D. 1014, and thus describe 
the chronological criteria of the year : 
"Kal. Jan. 6th feria, Lima 26;" that 
is to say, the 1 st of Jan. fell on Friday 
(or the Sunday letter was C) ; and the 
epact, or age of the moon on the 1st of 
Januar\', was 26. The chronicle then 
adds, " Hie est annus octavus chciili 
decemnovalis" [i.e., the Golden number 
is 8] " et hie est ccccc et Ixxxii, ab ad- 
ventu sancti Patricii ad baptizandos 
Scotos. peifSi^isoifii^ian niiT-,ocu|^ 
mincaiyc i ^^arditaT) ipn blia-ó- 
ainvi , quod non auditum est ab antiqixis 
temporibus." The Irish words have been 
entirely misunderstood by Dr. O'Conor. 
The correct translation of them is 
this: "The feast of St. Gregorj- [12th 
March] fell after Shrovetide, and little 
Easter [the 1st Sunday after Easter] 
fell in Summer fi.e., after the 1st of 

May] in that year." All these criteria 
point out the year 1014, in which 
Easter fell on the latest day possible, 
viz., 25th April ; therefore Shrove 
Tuesdaj', called by the Irish, init, 
(Welsh, ynyi), i.e., inithim jejuni!, was 
the 9th March, and '' little Easter," or 
Low Sunday, the 2nd May ; the same 
late Easter had not happened before 
since A.D. 482. The dates in the An- 
nals of the Four Masters, at this period, 
are a year short, so that their 1013 
answers to A.D. 1014. Dr. Dasent, 
" Story of Burnt Xjal" (Introd. vol. i. 
p. cxcv.), speaking of the date of this 
battle, states that it took place on 
" Good Friday, the ISth April, 1014 ;" 
but the 18th of April in that year was 
Pakn Sunday. The true day of the bat- 
tle was Good Friday, 23rd April, 1014. 
~ Words. Proceedings, Royal Irish 
Academy, vol. vii., p. 496. 


It follows from this calculation that new moon occurred at 
April, . . . 23'i 0'' 4:7-6<"—lOU, A.D. 
Minus . . . 21 7 48 

Or, at . . . Id ISh 59 ■6"'— April, 1014, A.D. 
i.e., at 5 o'clock on the morning of the 2nd April. 
" Therefore full moon occurred at 

April, ... Id 16h 59 -e™ 
Plus . . . 14 18 21-6 

16<i 111" 21-2"' 
Therefore the astronomical, or true full moon, occurred at 21 minutes past 
eleven at night of the 16th April, 1014. 

" Calculating by the established rules, the calendar or ecclesiastical full moon 
occurred on the 18th April, 1014 (Sunday), which would therefore make Easter 
Day fall on the 25th April, and make the 23rd April, Good Friday, agreeable 
to the traditions of the Battle of Clontarf . 

" I shall now show that the calculation of the tides makes it quite certain that 
the date 1014 falls in with all the physical circumstances related of the battle. 

" It appears from the calculation that I have given already that 
The age of the moon at noon on the 23rd April, 1014, was 21-292 days, or 
21ti 7h nearly. 
" The tide was therefore a neap tide, and the moon in her third quarter. 
" From the Academy's observations [on the tides roimd the coast of Ireland], 
it appears that on such a day of the moon's age, at the spring equinox, the tide 
at Kingstown is full at 

5h 22™ in the morning, 
from which it follows that the tide along the Clontarf shore, when not ob- 
structed by embankments and walls, could not have differed many minutes on 
the 23rd April, 1014, from 

Sh 30™ A.M ; 
the evening tide being full in at 

5h 55m p_ji_ 

The truth of the narrative (see p. 191), is thus most 
strikingly established. In the month of April, the sun 
rises at from 5^ 30" to 4>^ SO"". The full tide in the morn- 
ing therefore coincided nearly with sunrise : a fact which 
holds a most important place in the history of the battle, 
and proves that our author, if not himself an eye-witness, 
must have derived his information from those who were. 
" None others," as Dr. Haughton observes, " could have 
invented the fact that the battle began at sunrise, and 
that the tide was then full in. The importance of the 
time of tide became evident at the close of the day, when 
the returned tide prevented the escape of the Danes from 
the Clontarf shore to the North bank of the LifFey." 




The work 
divided into 
two parts. 

the Scan- 

Summary of the Contents of the Work: 

We may now proceed to give a more particular account 
of the contents of the present work, which divides itself 
into two parts. The first part ends with the chapter 
numbered^ XL., and contains an account in chronological 
order, or what is meant to be so, of the aiTÍval of the 
"fleets" of the Norsemen in different parts of Ireland, 
especially the southern or Munster district. The second 
part, from chap. XLI. to the end, is devoted to the history 
of the Dal Cais, or Munster Chieftains, and particularly 
to the achievements of their great hero, Brian, his usurpa- 
tion of the throne of Ireland, for such it was, and his 
death in the celebrated Battle of Clontarf. 

The story is told very much after the manner of the 
Scandinavian Sagas,^ with poems and fragments of poems 
introduced into the prose narrative. The style is inflated 

1 Numbered. The editor has taken 
the liberty of prefixing these numbers 
to the paragraphs or chapters of the 
work for the convenience of reference; 
they are not, of course, in the MSS. 

2 Sagas. It may be questioned 
whether the Saga literature was not 
an imitation, on the part of the North- 
men, of the historical tales and bardic 
poems which they had found in Ire- 
land. Many such productions, of un- 
doubted antiquity, are stiU extant in 
the Irish language. In the Book of 
Leinster, a MS. written, as we have 
seen, before the middle of the twelfth 
century, there is a curious list of Ro- 
mantic tales, which, as we infer from 
those of them that are still extant, 
were exactly similar to the Sagas 
of the Northmen. Mr. O'Curry has 
printed this interesting list, with a 
translation (Lectures, Append. No. 1, 
Ixxxix, p. 584). They amount in all 
to 137; and must, of course, be all of 
greater antiquity than this catalogue 
of them written in tlie twelfth ccn- 

turj'. We cannot be wrong, therefore, 
in assuming that such tales were po- 
pular with the Irish in the tenth and 
eleventh centuries at latest. But we 
learn from Snorro Sturleson (in the 
Preface to his Eeiviskr'mgla) that 
"The priest Are hinn Frode [or the 
AVise], son of Thorgils, son of GeUis, 
was the first man who wrote down 
in the Norse language narratives of 
events both old and new." Are hinn 
Frode was bom in Iceland, in 1067, 
and lived to 1148, or as some think 
1158. This was about the time when 
the above-mentioned list of Irish 
historical tales was compiled, and 
Are hinn Frode only followed the 
practice which had before his time 
prevailed in Ireland. The reader may 
see specimens of these tales in the 
"Battle of Magh Rath," or Moira, 
published, with a translation and notes, 
by Dr. O'Donovan, for the Irish Ar- 
chfeological Society; the "Battle of 
IMagh Lena," with the "Courtship of 
Momera, "edited by Mr. O'Curry ,for the 



and bombastic, dealing largely in alliterative epithets and 
words of synonymous meaning, for which it is almost 
impossible to find equivalents in the English, or perhaps 
any other language.^ 

The love of alliteration appears in the very title of the The word 
work, Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh, "The wars of the q^||'j *''" 
Gaedhel with the Gaill," or of the Irish with the Foreign- 
ers. Gall was in all probability a name given to all stran- 
gers who spoke a foreign language, and were therefore at 
first confounded with the Galli,^ or Gauls, the foreigners 
best known to the aboriginal Irish. Cormac's Glossary^ 
teUs us that pillar stones were caUed Gcdl, because they 
were first erected in Ireland by the Galli, or primitive 
inhabitants of France. After the twelfth century the 
name of Gall, as we have already observed, was given to 
the English ; and the Highlanders of Scotland employ it 

Celtic Society: and several others in 
the publications of the Ossianic So- 
ciety. It is evident that Ireland had 
the priority over the North in this 
species of popular literature ; and it is 
worthy of note tliat, both in the North 
and in Ireland, the Saga or historic 
Tale was in the vernacidar language 
of the people, not in the Latin of the 
monasteries. They were read at public 
entertainments, as well as at the fire- 
side, and their popularity accounts for 
the remarkable love of historical lore, 
as weU as the singular knowledge of 
the legendary history of their country, 
wliich was once characteristic of the 
Irish peasantry. 

1 Language. The Irish bards and 
historians, of the period to which this 
work belongs, appear to have consi- 
dered it a great beauty in style to heap 
together synonymous words beginning 
with the same letter. For examples 
of this alliteration, see p. 56: darmnaid 
dein diulang directea ; gamanraid gerata 
gasta galaigh gninmig gairgbeoda ; 
croda comnerta comcalma ; lonna letar- 
racha luchtmara; hrotha brigi bogi 
beodachta ; etc. 

2 Gain. See Colgan, TV. Th., p. 
633, col. 2. 

2 Glossary. See Stokes's ed., p. 23. 
Csesar, B. G., i. 1, seems to say tliat 
Gallus was the Roman pronunciation 
of Celt, which word, as some think, is 
Gaedhel; but if so, it would follow 
that the Irish used the Roman pro- 
nunciation of the name of their own 
nation, to denote foreigners. The de- 
rivation of Gall, from yaXa, milk, 
given in Connac's Glossary, in conse- 
quence of the milk-white complexion 
of the Gauls, is of coiirse absurd ; but 
it shows that the word was imderstood 
to mean Gaul, and that it is, in fact, 
Gallus. The German TFá7scA, generally 
used to designate the Italians, but ap- 
plied also to anything foreign, seems a 
cognate word. Giraldus Cambrensis 
tells us that the Anglo Saxons gave 
the name of Wales to the country of 
the Britons, from a word in their own 
language, which signiúeá foreign. De- 
seript. Cambrice, i. c. 7. Gal, or Gelyn, 
pi. Galon, in Welsh is "an enemy." 
In Irish, Gaill is the nominative, and 
Gall the genitive, plural. 



in the same way to denote the Lowlanders. It was 
evidently the generic name which included all strangers ; 
and the compound term Gall-gaedheP, was given to the 
descendants of mixed parents, the Scandinavian Irish, 
who had lapsed into paganism, or, having been brought up 
among the then heathen Norsemen, were never under 
Christian instiniction. 
Two dis- In the commencement of the work the author dis- 
tiMof Scan- tinguishes between two distinct parties of Scandinavian 
dmavians invaders ; the first are termed " azure Gentiles," but in 
the older MS. Lochlanns ; the second are caUed " Danars,"^ 
or Danes. No inference can be di'awn from the word 
gormglasa, translated " azui-e," applied to the former. It 
signifies literally blue-green, a pale and greenish blue : 
glauciLS. In the account afterwards given of the Battle 
of Clontarf, it is applied to those of the Northmen who 
wore plate armour f the term can scarcely be regarded 
as intended to be a characteristic of the azure Gentiles 
as distinguished from the Danars, for it is omitted in 
the older MS., and is elsewhere applied* to the Gaill or 

Í Gall-gaedkel. O'Flaherty (Ogyg., 
p. 360) thought that these were the 
inhabitants of the smaller British is- 
lands — Orkneys, Hebrides, Man, &c., 
which the Irish called Insi-gall, or 
" Islands of the foreigners." The Four 
Masters also (A. U. 1154, p. 11 13) speak 
of the Gall-Gaedhela of Aran, Cantire, 
Man, and the coasts of Scotland. Gal- 
loieay is a corruption of GaU-yaedhela. 
And there is no doubt that this mixed 
race constituted a large proportion of 
the inhabitants of these islands. But 
they were also in Ireland. The 
" Fragments of Annals," published by 
the Irish Archaeol. and Celtic Society 
mention them as settled in Munster, 
and especially in the county of Tip- 
perary, p. 138-41, and describe them 
as "a people who had renounced their 
baptism, and thej' were usually called 
Northmen (^Noi'mannaigh), for they had 
the customs of Northmen, and had 
been fostered by them: and although 

the original Northmen were bad to the 
churches, these were far worse, in 
whatever part of Erinn they used to 
be." The fact of their apostacy, how- 
ever, is not noticed by the Four Mas- 
ters, nor by the Annals of Ulster; al- 
though their existence is often recog- 
nised. See Four Mast, and Ann. Ult, 
from 854 to 856. 

2 Danars. Ch. i., p. 3. Observe here 
the alliteration, " ó genntibh, gorm- 
glasa, gusmara ;" " ó danaraibh doilge, 
durchroideacha ;" and see note ^, p. 2. 

3 Armour. See p. 203. 

^ Applied. See p. 159, where we 
have " Danar dana, durcraidecha ; 
anmargaich [for Banmarcaich, the D 
omitted,] anbh, allmarda; Gaill gorm- 
glasa, gentlidi." In both cases the 
epithet gormglasa, " blue or azure," 
seems to have been selected, principally 
because its initial letter was^r ; and was 
therefore equally applicable to Gaill ami 


foreigners in general. But two distinct nations of the Gaill 
are here undoubtedly described. They are elsewhere 
distinguished as white or fair-haired, and black or dark- 
haired foreigners, the Danes being the dark,' and the Nor- 
wegians, including, perhaps, Swedes, the white race. The 
term Lochlann seems used to denote the country of the 
white foreigners, although not perhaps with entire uni- 
formity.^ The word is supposed to signify Lake-land,^ a 
name which, if we understand the term Lake to include 
Jiords or arms of the sea,'' would well describe the coast of 
Norway. The two nations are represented as hostile to each 
other, and battles^ between them not unfrequently took 
place. But it is to be regretted that our author does not 
always very clearly distinguish between them in his 
descriptions of their devastations in Ireland. We cannot 
even be sure that the name Dane is not sometimes given 
to the Norwegians. The word Dane in later times was 
certainly used to signify pirate, robber, a cruel and fero- 
cious barbarian, without distinction of nation. 

The date of the Scandinavian invasions is defined at the Date of 
beginning of the following work by the reigns of the d^natian" 
Kings of Ireland and Munster ; and an interpolator adds invasions. 
a complete list of all thekings^ who were "in Cashel" and 
" in Tara," during the whole period from the first arrival 
of the strangers to the Battle of Clontarf. The pirates, 
we are told, appeared when Airtri, son of Cathal, was 

1 Dark. Thus the Danes are called , translation of Keating, p. 493 n., en- 
" Black Gentile Danars," and the otlier ; deavoiirs to prove Lochlannach to be 

race "White Gentiles," p. 19. See also 
p. 27. 

~ Uniformity. The name Lochlanners 
is used as distinguished from Danes, in 
the MS. L. (App. A., p. 221), and see 
also Fragments of Annals, p. 115, sq. 

3 Lake-land. So Dr. O'Brien says 
in his dictionary : but he would apply 
the word to the black as well as to the 
white foreigners. The Irish translator 
of Nennius seems to use the word 
Lochland to denote Germany. Irish 

equivalent to Laplander ; but his rea- 
sons, although ingenious, are not satis- 

4 Arms of the sea. The word has 
frequently this signification in Ireland, 
e.g., Loch Foyle, Loch Swilly, Belfast 
Lough, Loch Carman (Wexford), Loch 
Lurgan (Galway), &c. — all arras of the 

^Battles. Seep. 27, and Fragments 
of Annals, p. 117. 

6 The kings. See p. 3-5, and note ", 

Nennius, p. 84. Mr. O'Mahony, in his ] p. 4, 



King of Munster, and Aedh Oirnidhe, was King of 

Ireland. This latter sovereign began his reign, according to 

O'Flaherty's^ chronology, in the year 797, and Airtri, of 

Munster, died at the beginning of the ninth century. 

Testimony The Annals of Ulster, however, mention the first in- 

and Welsh road of the Northmen at their year 794, which coincides^ 

Annals. with A.D. 795, or two years before the reign of Aedh 

Oirnidhe. Their words are : — 

794. The burning of Rechru by 
Gentiles, and its shrines were broken 
and plundered. 

794. Loy^caT) RecTfiainne ó 'germ- 
ci13, octiip a y^cyiin -do coy^cixax) 
ocu^ "DO iomifia'D. 

The Four Masters repeat the same statement under 
their year 790, which Dr. O'Donovan^ corrects to 795. 
And so also the Welsh Chronicle,"* known by the name of 
Brut y Tyivysogion, or " Chronicle of the Chieftains," 
has a corresponding record, under the year 790, equiva 
lent also to A.D. 795 : — 

Deg mlyned a peduar ugein a seith 
cant oed oet Crist pandeuth y pagan- 
yeit gyntaf y Iwerdon. 

Three MSS. add, 
destroyed Rechrenn^ 

Ten years with fourscore and seven 
hundred was the age of Christ when 
the pagans first went to Ireland. 

ac y distrywyd Eechrenn," "and 

1 O'Flaherty's Chronology, Ogyg., p. 
433. Some remarks on the reigns of 
these kings willbe found in Appendix B. 

2 Coincides. The Ulster Annals date 
from the era of the Incarnation, not 
from the Nativity, so that their years 
are all one less than A.D. or the era 
of the Birth of our Lord. 

8 Dr. ff Donovan. Four Mast., vol. 
I., p. 397. 

^Chronicle. AttributedtoCaradocof 
Llancarvan, lionumentaHistor: Brifan- 
nice, p. 843. (Reprint for the Master 
of the Rolls, by the Rev. J. Williams 
ab Ithel, p. 9). 

^Btchrenn. This name has been 
given to more than one of the smaller 
islands near the coast of Ireland. There 
was a Rechru in Dalriada, now 
Raghery or Rathlinn island, off the 

coast of Antrim, which Colgan(77-. Tk., 
p. 509, 510) thought was the Rechru 
here intended. He is followed in this 
by ArchdaU, Monast. Bib., p. 12. 
Dr. O'Conor was of the same opinion. 
But Dr. Reeves, Adanman., j). 164 n., 
gives some reasons for thinking that 
Rechru of Bregia, now Lambay (i.e., 
Lamb-oy, or Lamb island), is intended. 
This island is situated on the coast of 
the county of Dublin, in the antient 
district of Magh Bregh or Bregia. 
Rechru is the con-ect name, as we learn 
from Adamnan (I'í'í. Columb. i. 5), 
Rechrai»» being the genitive and also 
the accusative case. For an account of 
the Rechru of Dalriada, see Reeves 
(Eecles. Antiq. of Down and Connor, p. 
288 sq.), who notices other islands 
called Rechru, »6., p. 292- 



Another form of the Brut y Tyiuysogion, called the 
Gwentian Chronicle/ of Caradoc of Llancarvan, has the 
following record of the same event, at the same year, 
795 :— 

Y daeth y paganiaid duon gyiitaf 
i jmys Prydain o wlad Denmarc, ac a 
wnaethant ddrygau mawr yn Lloegr, 
wedi hynny daethant i Forganwg, ac 
yno lladd a llosgi llawer, ond o'r di- 
wedd gofu'r Cymry arnynt au gyrru 
i'r mor gwedi Uadd Uawer ia-wn o ho- 
iijTit, ac yna myued i'r Werddon lie 
y diffeithiasant RechrejTi a lleoeddd 

The black pagans first came to the 
island of Britain from Denmark, and 
made great ravages in England; after- 
wards they entered Glamorgan, and 
there killed and burnt much ; but, 
at last, the Cymiy conquered them, 
driving them into the sea, and killing 
veiy many of them ; from thence they 
went to Ireland and devastated Rech- 
reyn and other places. 

Here, under the same date, we have the same fact, 
with the additional information (not found in the other 
Welsh chronicles) that the party of " black pagans," who 
were the fii'st of their nation to land in Ireland, had 
previously been defeated in Glamorganshire, and after 
their defeat there by the Cymry, had sought the coasts 
of Ireland and devastated Rechru. 

We may, therefore, safely^ adopt the year 795, on the 

1 Gwentian Chronicle. Published in 
Welsh in the Myvyrian Archceoloffy, 
and recently with a translation by Mr. 
Aneurin Owen, by the Cambrian Ar- 
chaBological Association. 

"Safely. It is stated (p. 67 infra.') 
that Core, son of Cas, son of AilioU Olum, 
was " the man who first routed the 
foreigners." If this were so, the Scan- 
(Una\áans must have been in Ireland 
at the end of the third or beginning 
of the fourth centur)% But this is an 
erroneous readmg, as is shown in the 
note on the passage ; the person in- 
tended was Core, son of Anluan, who 
must have lived about A.D. 800 (see 
Append. B., Geneal. Table III., No. 
18). Dr. O'Conor was of opinion that 
the first appearance of the Norsemen 
in Ireland was A.D. 747, in which 
year, according to his mistranslation 
of a passage in the Annals of Ulster, 
Arascach, abbot of Muc-inis, was 

" drowned by the foreigners." In his 
version of the Annals of Ulster, Rer. 
Hib. Scriptt. iv., p. 92, he translates 
'•Dimersio Arascachi abbatis insula? 
porcorum ab alienigenis," and in his 
Ann. quat. Magistror. (?6. iii., p. 268), 
he renders the same words "Arasgachus 
abbas Mucinensis ab alienigenis demer- 
sus." Mr. Moore, Hist, of Ireland, 
Vol. IV., p. 2, improves upon this, and 
by a most ludicrous blunder, assum- 
ing the island spoken of to be the 
Rechru mentioned above, translates 
Dr. O'Conor's Latin thus, "The Annals 
of Ulster refer to A.D. 747, the date 
of this attack upon Rechrann by the 
Danes, and record, as the first achieve- 
ment of these marauders, the drown- 
ing of the Abbot of Reclirann's pigs.'' 
But the Annals of Ulster at 747 make 
no mention of Rechrann or of Danes ; 
and instead of the abbot's pigs, record 
the drowning of the abbot himself. 



united authority of the Irish and Welsh Annals, as the 
real date of the first appearance of Scandinavian pirates 
in the Irish seas. It is true that they had landed some 
years before^ in England, as we learn from the Anglo- 
Saxon Chronicle ; and our author makes their arrival in 
Ireland somewhat later. There is not, however, any in- 
consistency. The year 795 is given in the Annals as the 
year in which the foreigners plundered the island of 
Rechru, an event of which the present work makes no 
special mention. Our author evidently speaks of their 
landing on the mainland of Ireland, when he dates the 
beginning of their invasions from the reigns of Aedh 
Oirnidhe, King of Ireland, and of Airtri, King of Munster. 
They seem to have attacked at first the islands in which 
were Monasteries, possessing some wealth ; and when they 
found that the spoils of these establishments were obtained 

See Dr. O'Donovan's note on this pas- 
sage, Four Masters, A.D. 743, p. SIS. 
The real name of this island (which is in 
Loch Derg) was Mucinis Riagail or 
Eegail, " Hog island of Riagal," or St. 
Regulus. Dr. O'Couor divided Riagail 
or Re-gail, into two words, and not re- 
collecting that the Irish name for the 
foreigners was Gaill, with a double /, 
notgail, hetranslated " ab alienigenis," 
assuming ria, or re, to be a preposition. 
The passage in the Annals of Ulster 
records only the fact, that the abbot 
of Muc-inis-Riagail was drowned, 
^^^thout any mention of Danes or fo- 

1 Years before. See the Anglo-Saxon 
Chronicle, A.D. 787, where the arrival 
of three ships on the coast of Dorset- 
shire is recorded as the first landing of 
the Northmen in England. They are 
said to have come from " Hieretha- 
lande," which Mr. Thorpe, in the 
Translation accompanying the reprint 
of this Chronicle for the Master of the 
Rolls, says was in Norway. Hirotha. or 
Irruaith, is the Irish name for Noi-way. 

They are immediately afterwards called 
Danish ships, " Scipu Dseniscra man- 
na." In 793 we have a record of the 
destruction of " God's church at Lin- 
disfame," by heathen men ; and in 
the follo-ning year the devastation of 
Northumberland by the heathen, and 
the plunder of Ecg-ferth's nionasterj- 
at Donemuth, now Wearmouth. At 
the same year the Annals of Ulster 
(793^794) have the record " vastatio 
omnium insolarum Britanniae a gen- 
tilibus." In 795 they plundered Hy, 
(now corruptly lona), according to the 
Bodleian Annals of Inisfallen, where 
the date given is 781 ; but as this is 
said to have been two years before the 
death of Donchadh, King of Ireland, 
the true date must have been 795. In 
the same year, according to the same 
authority, the foreigners burned the 
islands of Inis Muiredhaigh (Inish- 
Murry, co. of Sligo,) and Inis-bofinn. 
(co. of Mayo). But these outrages 
ought, perhaps, to be dated 807, at 
which year the burning of Inish-Muvry 
is recorded in the Annals of Ulster. 



with little or no resistance, they returned again in greater 
force, and attacked the mainland. In 798 there was an 
invasion of the Isle of Man by the "Gentiles," who burned 
Inispatrick, now Holm Peel, or Peel island, and plun- 
dered the country. On their return they took " spoils 
of the sea," (which probably means the spoils of the 
Hebrides and other islands) " between Erinn and Alba." 
These events are described in the Annals of Ulster,' in 
the following words : — 

Combu|"cio inii^^e Pcrcyiaicc ó 
^enncib, ocuy boiiiine na ciaic -do 
biieic, ocu'p •pcixni T)acoiina "do 
bixi-peat) -Doaib, ocu-p uTDjxe'óa 
Tnap,a'Doaibcene,eit;i|iC'Yinin ocay 

The burning of Inis-patrick by the 
Gentiles, and cattle plunder of the 
country was borne off, and the shrine 
of Dachonna was broken by them, and 
the spoils of the sea [taken] by them 
also, between Erinn and Alba. 

Our Annals make no mention of inroads upon the main- 
land of Ireland until the year 807, which was the tenth 
year of King Aedh Oirnidhe, and is probably the date 
intended by our author as the commencement of the 
Scandinavian wars. 

On the whole 0' Flaherty's"^ arrangement of these events o'Flaher- 
may be accepted as most consistent with the records pre- *^''^ '^^''°' 

. . . nology 

served in the Irish Annals, and in the present work. The of these 
pirates began their devastations on the islands off the ^"'^^^^' 
coasts of Scotland and Ireland, in the year 795, which was 
the 25th year of Donnchadh, son of DomhnaU, King of 
Ireland. Three years afterwards, A.D. 798, in the first 
year of Aedh Ornidhe, they plundered Inis-patrick of Man, 
and the Hebrides ; in 802 they burned I-Columcille, and 
again in 806 phmdered the same island ; but, perhaps, not 
then without resistance, for sixty-eight of the monastic 
society of the island were slain.^ The next year, 807, they 

'í Annals of Ulster. At A.D. 797 
(=798). Four M., A.D. 793 (=798). 
Dr. O'Donovan understood the Inis- 
patrick here mentioned, of the island 
so called, on the coast of Dublin. But 
the mention of the shrine of Dach- 
onna, who was bishop of Man, proves 
that Peel, on the west of the isle of 

Man, formerly called Insula Patrieii, 
is intended. See Colgan, Actt. SS. (ad 
13 Jan.), p. 59. Chronicle of Man, by 
P. A. Munch, p. 23, Christiania. 1860. 

2 0" Flaherty's. Ogyg., p. 433. 

3 Slain. Annals of Ulster, 801, 805. 
" Familia Ife occisa est a gentilibus, id 
est Ixviii." See also Four Masters. 



The pre- 
sent work 
chiefly of 
the South. 

entered for the first time the mainland of the west and 
south of Ireland, and having burned the island of Inis- 
muiredliaigh, or Inishmurry, off the coast of Sligo, they 
advanced inland as far as Roscommon.^ In 812 and 813 
we find them in Connaght and Munster, and they suffer 
more than one defeat from the native chieftains ; finally 
in 815, according to the chronology of O' Flaherty (or more 
probably, as we shall see, about 830), Turgesius, a Norwe- 
gian, established himself as sovereign of the foreigners, and 
made Armagh the capital of his kingdom. 

The present work, however, takes cognizance chiefly 
of the depredations of the Norsemen in the southern 
half of Ireland. Camas ó Fothaidli Tire, was the first 
place at which they landed. Immediately after, Inis 
Labhrainn^ and Dair-inis were burned by them, and they 
were defeated with great slaughter by the Eoghanacht of 
Loch Lein, now the Lake of Killarney. There is a Dair- 
inis in the bay of Wexford, called Dair-inis Caemhain, 
which was plimdered by the Danes,^ A.D. 820. But Dair- 
inis, or " Oak Island," was a name given to more than one'* 

1 Roscommon. Ann. Ult., 806. 

2 Inis Lahhrainn. This was an is- 
land probably at the mouth of the river 
anciently called Labrainne, which, as 
Dr. O'Donovan conjectures (Four 
Mast, at A.M. 3751 note) was the 
same as that now called Casan Ciar- 
raighe, or Cashen river, count}' of 
Kerry, The Eoghanacht of Loch 
Lein were a tribe seated on the east 
of the Lake of Killarney, barony 
of Magunihy, county of Kerry. 
O'Flaherty, Ogyff., p. 328. See 
Four Masters, 807; Ann. Ult., 811, 
true date 812. They had their name 
from their ancestor Eoghan mór, son 
of OilioU Olum, but were the imme- 
diate descendants of Conall Core (ith 
in descent from Eoghan mór). See 
Append. B., Table IV., No. 6. Camas 
Ó Fothaidli Tire was probably in the 
territory of Corca-Luighe, S.W. of the 
present county of Cork. See Miscel- 

lany of Celtic Society^ p. 43, 60-59; 
and Four J/., 813, 849, with Dr. 
O'Donovan's notes. Camas signifies a 
bend in a river. Keating calls itCaoimh 
Inis Ó bFothaidh, or, according to other 
copies, Caoimh Inis Uibh Rathaigh ; 
i.e., " Fair, or beautiful island, of 
O'Fothaidli," oi "of Ui Rathaigh." 
If we adopt the latter reading this 
island would seem to have been off 
the coast of Iveragh, anciently Ui or 
Uibh Rathaigh, county of Kerry. 
These various readings prove that the 
exact situation of the place has been 
for many years uncertain or unknown. 

3 Danes. See Four Mast., A.D. 819, 
and O'Donovan's note. 

^ More than one. See Archdall's 
Monasticon, p. 695; Four Mast., A.D. 
742 ; and O'Donovan, note d. See 
also the Index of Places to the Mar- 
tyrology of Donegal, published by the 
IrishArchsological and Celtic Society. 



island in various parts of Ireland ; and it is evident that 
the Dairinis here mentioned must have been in or near 
the territory of the Eoghanacht of Loch Lein. None of 
these places are now known with any certainty. They 
were probably ecclesiastical establishments of no great 
wealth or importance ; and having been totally demolished 
by the Scandinavian pirates on this occasion, their very 
names may have soon after perished. 

This first group of invasions, terminated with the First group 
victory by the Eoghanacht of Loch Lein, which is dated ^^ p^^go?"* 
in the year after the death of Diman^ of Aradh, and ten to 812. 
years after the death of Airtri, King of Munster. The 
year A.D. 81 2 seems thus determined. 

The next series of inroads is said to have begun in the Second 
second year of Fedhlimidli, son of Crimhthann, King of ^^2^ " * 
Munster, or about 822. The places plundered by this 
jjarty of marauders are all, with two exceptions,^ still well 

1 Diman. The text says that he 
was killed, or mvtrdered. The Ann. 
Ult. (followed by the Four Masters) 
speak of his death only; an event 
which is dated by them 811, (for 810 
of the Ann. Ult. and 806 of the Four 
Masters coincide with A.D. 811). In 
the former authority we read " Dim- 
man Aradh-Muminensis anchorita vi- 
tam feliciter fim^^t." Diman was, 
therefore, an anchorite in Aradh of 
INIunster, now the barony of Aradh or 
Duharra, county of Tipperarj-. The 
death of Airtri, son of Cathal, is not 
dated in the Annals, but is ascertained 
here, as the death of Diman is known. 
A difference of reading, however, 
causes some difficulty. The text (p. 5) 
makes the year after Diman's death 
or 812 to be the tenth after (ayin ec, 
for ec) the death of Airtri. 
Therefore Airtri died 802. The MS. 
L. (p. 222) reads the tenth year before 
(■jien ec) the death of Airtri. There- 
fore Airtri died 822. The discrepancy 
was probably caused by the insertion 

of the reign of Tuathal, son of Airtri 
(secundum quosdani, as the Book of 
Leinster qualifies it), between his 
father Cathal and Fedhlimidh, son of 
Crimhthann. The legitimacy of this 
reign was disputed; and the tran- 
scribers of our author ■«Tote after, or 
before, according to their opinion on 
this question, gi^"^ng the earlier date 
to the death of King Airtri, in order 
to make room for the reign of his son. 
But the later date is more probable, 
for we find Feidlilimidh in occupation 
of the throne in 823 (Ann. Ult. 822). 
Perhaps 802 may be the date of 
Tuathal's usurpation, and 822 the date 
of Airtri's death. See Append. B. 

2 Ttco exceptions. Inis Temhni and 
Eosmaelain are the exceptions. Inis 
Temhni, or Inis Doimhli, called also 
Inis Uladh, "because the Ulstermen 
inhabited it" (Mart. Donegal, 1 Dec, 
p. 325), is probably the island in the 
expansion of the Suir, near Waterford, 
now called "Little Island." See Dr. 
O'Donovan's Four Masters, A.D. 9C0, 



Invasion of 
the North 
of Ireland 
A.D. 823 
or 824. 

known, namely, Cork, Inis Temhni, Begere, or Begery Island 
in Wexford harbour, Cloyne, and Ros-maelain. The barren 
rock called Scelig Michil, or St. Michael's Rock, the abode 
of a solitary named Etgall or Edgall, was invaded by them, 
and as they probably found nothing else to take, they 
carried off its only inhabitant, who appears to have died 
soon after in captivity. The death of Etgall of the Scel- 
lig is dated by the Annals of Ulster 823 or 824. Keat- 
ing says that the invaders on this occasion were White 
Lochlann, or Norwegians. Their devastations seem to 
have been made along the coast from Cork to Wexford 
Bay. It was probably on their way back that they 
entered Skellig-MichaeP (now the Great Skellig, off the 
coast of Kerry), and carried away the hermit, Etgall. 

The next invasion mentioned was in the north of Ire- 
land. Bangor, the celebrated monastery of St. Comhgall,^ 
was burned, the shrine of the saint broken, the bishop of 
the monastery slain, with its learned men and clergy, and 
the MagJi or plain laid waste : but according to another 
reading,^ Magh-bile, or MoviUa, in the county of Down, 
was laid waste. This act of sacrilege is dated " four years 
after the death of Aedh, son of Niall, at Ath-da-Fert." 
This must be Aedh Oirnidhe, son of Niall Frassach, King 

p. 681 n. The Martj'rology of Donegal 
[4 July, p. 187] describes the situa- 
tion of Inis Doimhle as " between Ui 
Ceinnselaigh [county of Wexford] and 
the Deisi [Waterford]." This agrees 
very well with the situation of Little 
Island, at the mouth of the Suir. Ros- 
maelain is called in L. Rosniallain, 
and by Keating Rosraaolaidhe ; it is 
called also Rosgiallain, and Roskel- 
lan, and is now perhaps Rostellan, a 
parish in the barony of Imokilly, 
county of Cork. 

1 Skellig- Michael, or St. Michael's 
Rock. It was common, from the fifth 
century, to dedicate such rocks to St. 
Michael the Archangel. The word 
Skellig or Skerry is of Scandinavian 

origin. /Siiier is "Scopulus maris." The 
text says that Etgall escaped, but 
afterwards died of starvation with them 
(p. 7). A possible explanation of this 
contradiction is suggested, p. 223, n. '. 

-St. Comhgall. He was the patron 
saint of Dalaradia ; born A.D. 517. 
The Four Mast., at 822, and Ult. 823, 
attribute to him a prophecy in which 
he foretells the destruction of his 
shrine on this occasion. Fleming, 
Collect. Sacra, has published his life, 
p. 303. See also Reeves's Eccl. Antiq., 
p. 269. 

8 Reading. See p. 6, n. ^. " The 
burning of Maghbile with its oratories 
by the Gentiles" is recorded by the 
Ann. Ult. at 824. 



of Ireland, who died, according to the Annals of Ulster,' 
at a place called Ath-da-ferta ["Vadum duarum virtu- 
tum," — the Ford of the two miracles], in Magh Conaille,^ 
or Conaille Muirtheimhne, a district nearly co-extensive 
with the county of Louth. The fourth year after the 
death of Aedh Oh-nidhe coincides with A.D. 823 or 824. 

Our author then returns to Munster, and records an invasions 
invasion of Ui Ceinnselaigh, the territory inhabited by *g ^^ 
the descendants of Enna Cennselach, who was King of 
Leinster in the middle of the fourth century. This district 
coincides nearly with the present dioceses of Leighlin and 
Ferns, in the counties of Wexford and Carlow.^ By this 
fleet were plundered Tech Munnu (St. Munna's house), 
now Taghmon, in the county of Wexford ; Tech Moling 
(St. Moling's house), now St. Mullins,* on the river 
Barrow, county of Carlow ; Inis Teoc, now Inistioge,^ a 
small town on the river Nore, coimty of Kilkenny; and 
the whole district of Ossory, where they were met by a 
spirited resistance, and lost 170 men. They demoHshed 
Dundermuighe [Fort of the oak plain], now Dunderrow, 
or Dundarro, near Kinsale ; Inis Eoghanain, now Inis- 
shannon, on the river Bandon ; Disert Tipraite, a place not 
now known ; and Lismore. Cill Molaisi, or the Church 
of St. Molaise, now Kilmolash, five miles S.E. of Lismore ; 

1 Ulster. A.D. 818 (=819). Keat- 
ing, for "at Ath da Fert," reads i Cath 
da Ferta, "in the battle of Da Ferta." 
No such battle or place is known ; and 
it is curious that Keating makes both 
Aedh Uariodnach and Aedh Oirnidhe 
to have been killed in the battle of 
Da Ferta ; O' Mahony s translation, pp. 
468, 498. This looks suspicious, and 
proves that there has been some mis- 
take or confusion. 

2 Magh Conaille. The words of the 
Ann. Ult. are "Mors Aedha mic NeiU 
juxta Vadum duarum virtutum, .1. 05 
CCch "oa Pep-ca, in Campo Conaille." 
For the situation of Campus Conaille, 
Magh Conaille, or Plain of Conall, 

see O'Donovan, Book of Rights, pp. 
10, 11, n. 21, 166. 

3 Carlow. See Book of Rights, p. 
208, n. 

^St. Mullins. St. Moling Luachra 
erected a monastery there A.D. 632. 
Archdall, Monast. p. 39. The Four 
Mast., at 888, speak of " the foreign- 
ers of Teach Moling," from which it 
appears that a permanent settlement 
of " foreigners" had been made there 
before the end of the ninth century. 

° Itiistioge. See Archdall, Monast. 
p. 359. This place is in Ossory, and 
was perhaps the lirst ecclesiastical es- 
tablishment which was attacked in the 



of the 
in the 

Cluain-ard Mobeoc/ and Lann Leri,- were Luined. An- 
other party of the pirates plundered Cenn Slebhi [read 
Cill-Shleibhe], now Kille\y, or Killslevy, near Newry ; 
and another, or the same party, phmdered Sord of Colum- 
cille, now Swords, near Dublin. Daimhliag Cianain ["the 
stone church of St. Cianan"], now Duleek,^ county of 
Meath; Slane, in the same county; Cell-uasaille^ [" Chm'ch 
of St. Auxilius"], now Killossy, or Killashee, near Naas, 
county of Kildare ; Glen-da-loch, in the county of Wicklow ; 
Cluain Uamha, now Cloyne, county of Cork ; and Mun- 
gairit, now Mungi-et, county of Limerick, were all plun- 

From the wide range of these devastations, it is pro- 
bable that they were committed by more than one body 
of invaders, landing simultaneously in different parts of 
Ireland. The majority of the places named are in Munster, 
but some are near Dublin, or in the counties of Meath, 
Kildare, Louth, and Wicklow. Oiu* author gives no date 
to these depredations, and they are for the most part 
unnoticed'^ by the Annals ; but they probably took place 

' Cluain-ard Mobeog, or Mohecog. 
The high lawn of St. Mobeoc, or Mo- 
becoe, i.e., in the simpler form of the 
name St. Becan, See note 'o, p. 7. 
This place is now Kilpeacon, county 
of Limerick. 

"^ Lann Leri, now Dunleer, in the 
county of Louth ; Lann [church], 
havmg been changed to Dun [for- 
tress], at an early period. Dr. Reeves 
has identified this place with the mo- 
dem Dunleer by irresistible evidence, 
from the Primatial Registers of Ar- 
magh, and other authorities. Archdall 
(^Monast, p. 722), and O'Donovan 
(Four Mast., A.D. 740 w, and A.D. 
826), as well as Colgan, supposed it to 
be the place now called Lynn, in 
Westmeath ; and for this there is the 
authority of the Scholia on the Felire 
of Aengus, at 18 June. But the Re- 

gisters of Primates Fleming [1415] 
and Octavian [1497] speak of the 
church of SS. Brethan and Frethan at 
Dunleer, in the diocese of Armagh, 
and these were manifestly SS. Bao- 
than and Furadhran, the patron saints 
of Lann Leri [Mart. Doneg., 18 June]. 
Lynn, in Westmeath, could never have 
been in the diocese of Armagh. 

3 Duleek. See Ann. UlL, A.D. 831 ; 
FourM., 830; Archdall, Monast., p. 533 

* Cell-uasaiUe. The reading Orlla- 
saile in the text (p. 7) is an evident 
mistake of the MS. 

5 Unnoticed. The An7i. Ult. record 
" an inroad upon Ossoiy by the Gen- 
tiles," A.D. 824; and the Four Mast. 
notice a plundering of Lismore, 831 ; 
of Duleek, 830(67^831); Glendaloch, 
833 [really 834] ; and Mungret, 834 



between the years 824 and 835. It is e^'ident tliat the 
pirates had now found their way to the ecclesiastical estab- 
lishments at considerable distances from the sea coast in 
the interior of the country. The monasteries and chiu'ches 
were the reputed depositories of wealth, the centres of civili- 
zation, and of resistance. They were, therefore, the gi-eat 
aim of the plunderers. On this occasion, as our author 
tells us, " the gi-eater part of the churches of Erinn^" were 

Luimnech, by which name was then kno^^Ti the great Occupa- 
branch of the Shannon from the present city of Luimnech, Limerick 
or Limerick,^ to the sea, was next occupied by the 
pirates, who plundered the neighbouring coimtry, namely, 
Corcobhaiscinn,^ Tradraighe,* and the lands^ inhabited 
by the XJi Conaill Gabhra, or descendants of Conall 
Gabhra. This tribe, under the command of their chieftain, 
Donnchadli (or Donadhach),^ who was also head of the 
Ui-Fidhghente, assisted byNiall,^ son of Cennfaeladh,gave 
battle to the foreigners, and defeated them at a place 
called Senati, Seannad, or Shanid,^ in the barony of 
Lower Connello, county of Limerick. 

1 Erinn. See chap, vii., pp. 8, 9. 

2 Limerick. The city seems to have 
been founded by the Danes. See 
O'Donovan's Circuit of Muirchertach 
MacNeill, line 130, n. 

3 Corcobhaiscinn. A district repre- 
sented by the baronies of Moyarta, 
Clonderalaw, and Ibrickan, county of 
Clare. See Book of Rights, p. 48, n. 

* Tradraighe. A territory east of the 
river Fergus, in the same county, ■whose 
name survives in that of the parish and 
rural deanery of Tradrj-. O'Donovan's 
Four Masters, A.D. 1054, p. 867, n. 

5 Lands. Now the baronies of 
Upper and Lower Connello, county of 

6 Donadhack. So he is called by 
the Four Mast. (833 and 834) and by 
the Ann. Ult.. 834 (^83.5), which 

was the year of his death. See Gen. 
Table, V., No. 20, and Peiligree of 
O'Donovan, Four Mast., pp. 2435-6. 

"! Niall. Chieftain of Ui Cairbre 
Aebhda. This Niall succeeded Don- 
ailhach as chief of Ui Fidhghenti in 
835, and died 846, Ann. Ult, 845. 
The descent of all the tribes here men- 
tioned -«ill be found in Gen. Table, V., 
p. 249. 

8 Slianid. A defeat of the foreigners 
by the Ui Conaill Gabhra, under the 
command of Donnchadh or Dunadhach, 
is recorded by the Annals of Ulster, 
the Four Masters, and the Chronicon 
Scotorum, under the date 834; but 
Senati or Shanid is not mentioned by 
them. The exact place so caUed was 
probably a little south of the present 
town of Shanagolden, where, in later 



Invasion " After this," oiir author says, came " a great royal 

Turgesius, fleet iiito the North of Ireland," commanded by Turgeis, 
or, Turgesius, "who assumed the sovereignty of the 
foreigners of Ireland," and occupied the whole of Let It, 
Ghuinn, or the northern half of Ireland. In addition to 
the party under the immediate command of Turgesius, 
three " fleets," probably in connexion with him, appeared 
simultaneously. One of these took possession of Lough 
Neaofh, another of Louth, anchoring in what is now the 
bay of Dundalk, and the third having, as it would seem, 
approached Ireland from the west, occupied Lough Ree.^ 

The chronology of this invasion is fixed by means of 
the particulars recorded. Armagh was plundered three 
times in the same month. This, the annalists all say, was 
the first plundering^ of Armagh by the gentiles, and is 
assigned to the year 832. 

Afterwards, but it is not said immediately afterwards, 
Turgeis " usurped the abbacy of Armagh," and Forannan, 
the real abbot, or bishop, and cAie/ comharba^ of Patrick, 
was diiven out ; he fled to Munster, carrying with him 
the shrine of St. Patrick, and continued in exile four 
years, " whilst Turgeis was in Ai-magh, and in the 
sovereignty of the North of Ii-eland." We afterwards 
find* that, when in Munster, and probably in the teiritory 
of the Martini^ of Munster, Forannan was taken prisoner 





times, a castle was built by a branch 
of the Fitzgeralds of Desmond, whose 
family cry was Shanid a boo (8eann ax» 
a buai'o), or "Shanid in victoiy," i.e., 
vanquished, to celebrate the seizure of 
the ancient district by its Anglo-Nor- 
man proprietors. This castle, there- 
fore, most probably occupied the site 
of the ancient Senati. 

1 Lough jRee. An expansion of the 
Shannon between Athlone and Lanes- 

2 Plundering. A nn. UU.,83l (=A.D. 
832). The Four Masters make the 
same statement at their j'ear 830, 

that Armagh had never been plun- 
dered by strangers before. 

s Chief Comharba. As there were 
coarbs or successors of Patrick in other 
churches, his successor at Armagh was 
distinguished as " Chief Coarb." 

* Find. See c. xiii., p. 15. 

5 Martini. See p. 15. This people 
were a tribe of the BelgiB or Firbolgs, 
of whose territory, Emly, in the co. of 
Tipperary, was the capital. B. of Lis- 
mo7'e, fol. 172, b.a. (quoted by O'Curry, 
Battle of 3Iagh Lena, p. 7G, «.). 
Their name is written also Mairtine 
and Muirtine. The place Cluain Co- 


by the Norsemen of Limeiick, who carried him off to their 
ships, having broken the shi'ine of Patrick. In the same 
year Turgesius was made captive by Maelseachlainn, then 
king of Meath, and drowned in Loch Uair, now Loucrh 
Owel, near Mullingar, county of Westmeath. 

This event, our author takes care to date acciu'ately. Date of 
It occuiTed, he says, " the year before the drowming of ''' ^ 
Niall Caille," king of Ireland, and "the second year before 
the death of Feidlilimidh, son of Crimhthann," king of 
Munster. These criteria indicate^ the year a.d. 845. 

The two facts here made known to us — for which the Duration 
present work is the only autliority, — that the duration of dynasty. 
Forannan's exile was four years only, and that he 
returned to Armagh immediately upon the death of 
Turgesius — enable us to ascertain the duration of this 
dynasty with tolerable certainty. Turgesius was recog- 
nised by all the foreigners then in Ireland as their 
sovereign. Having fixed his head-quarters in the North, 
he attacked Armagh, where it is evident that he must have 
met with some resistance. The sacking of the town thrice 
in one month seems to prove that he did not obtain pos- 
session of it until after a second and a third assault. And, 
as he probably lost no time in seeking to become master 
of a place so important, we may faMy infer that the date 
of this event is the date also, or very nearly so, of his 
arrival in the North of Ireland. For nine years after- 
wards, he seems to have remained content with his secular 
possession of the country, or unable to overthrow the 
power of the ecclesiastical authorities. It was not until 
the year 841 that he succeeded in banishing the bishop 
and clergy, and " usurped the abbacy," that is to 
say, the full authority and jurisdiction in Armagh and 
in the North of Ireland. From these considerations we 

mairdi, from which Forannan was 
carried off to Limerick, although now 
forgotten, was probably in this terri- 

1 indicate. Niall Caille was drowned 
in the river Caille or Callen, A.D. 
846 ; and Feidhlimidh died 847. See 
Ann. Ult., 844, 846. 




infer that the entire diu-ation of the tyranny of Turgesius 

cannot have been more than about thirteen^ years, from 

831 or 832 to his death^ in 84^5. 

Dissensions The times immediately preceding the anival of Turgesius 

chieftains ^nd his foUowers were remarkable for internal dissension 

in the 9th amono;st the Irish chieftains. An old feud had existed for 


more than a century between the north and south of 
Ireland, owing to the pretensions of the kings of Cashel or 
Munster to be kings of all Ireland ; and Feidlilimidh, son of 
Crimhthann, the Mimster chieftain, at the period of which 
we speak, had prosecuted this claim with great pertinacity. 
About A.D. 840, he seems to have obtained a temporary 
submission from Niall Caille, the sovereign of the O'Neill 

1 TUrteen. Not thirty, as Giraldus 
Cambrensis makes it {Topogr. Hib. 
Dist. iii., c. 42), whose authority has 
been followed by Keating (O'Mahony's 
translation, p. 505) and by O'Flaherty 
(Offyg., p. 433). These authors sup- 
pose Turgesius to have been in Ireland 
seventeen years before the plundering 
of Armagh; and, therefore, to have 
arrived in 815. The authentic Irish 
annals make scarcely any mention of 
Turgesius, until they record his death. 
The Chronicon Scotorum, which has 
probably preserved part of the lost por- 
tion of Tighernach, first notices him at 
the year 845, where mention is made of 
his having erected a fort {Dun) at 
Loch Ree, from whence he plundered 
Connaught and Meath, and his being 
drowned the same year in Loch Uair. 
The present work contains more full 
notices of him than any other Irish 
authority. The thirty years assigned 
to him have, therefore, no other founda- 
tion than the testimony of Cambrensis; 
and O'Flaherty's date is only a conjec- 
ture, in order to reconcile that testi- 
mony with the Irish annals. 

In p. 9, thearrivalof Turgesiusis said 
to have been afte?- the defeat of the 
foreigners by the Ui Conaill Gablira, 

at Shanid. If so, the battle of Shanid 
must have been before A.D. 832, which 
aU the annals agree in giving as the 
date of the first plunder of Armagh. 
Perhaps the battle mentioned in the 
annals, at 834, may have been a 
second battle under Donnchadh, chief- 
tain of the Ui Conaill ; and it is worth 
noting that the clause of the present 
work in which Donnchadh is mentioned 
seems to have been an interpolation, as 
it is added in the margin, and not in 
the text of the older MS. See note, 
p. 8, andApp. A., p. 224. 

Ussher makes Forannan to have 
been expelled from Armagh the same 
j^ear in which Turgesius was drowned, 
and gives 848 as the date in his Index 
Chron. Lanigan has adopted this mis- 
take, iii., p. 276, sq. But neither of 
these authors had access to the present 

- Death. The romantic storj- of his 
death, told by Cambrensis, (^Topogi'. 
Hib., Dist. iii., cap. 40), is not found 
in any old Irish authority, although 
Keating repeats it. See note '", p. 
U. It is evidently an imitation of 
the stoiy of Hengist's treacherous 
banquet to Vortigern, as recorded by 
Nennius, c. 47. 



race, and to have been recocjnised as Kins; of all Ireland.' 
Although he was himself an ecclesiastic, abbot and bishop, 
as well as king of Cashel, he did not hesitate, in the prose- 
cution of his political designs, to plunder the most sacred 
places of the northern half of Ireland, and to put to the 
sword their monks and clergy. In 826, and again in 833, he 
had spoiled the Termon lands or sanctuary of Clonmacnois ; 
on which last occasion he slew many of the religious, and 
burned the Termon up to the very doors of the principal 
church. He had treated in the same way the celebrated 
Columban monastery of Dmrow. In 836 he took the Ora- 
tory of Kildare by force of arms from Forannan of Ai'magh, 
who seems to have found refuge there with his clergy, 
and exacted from him a forced submission.^ In 840, 
Armagh was bm-ned " with its oratories and its cathe- 
di'al ;" the Four Masters say " by the foreigners," which 
may have been so, for it was in 841, as we have seen, 
that Turgesius " usurped the abbacy ;" but the Annals 
of Ulster make no mention of the Norsemen, and seem 
to leave it doubtfuP whether this outrage was not com- 

^ All Ireland. See Dublin Ann. of 
Inisfallen, at 84:0. Hence Giraldiis 
Cambrensis is not wrong when he calls 
FeidhlLmidh King of Ireland, Topogr. 
Hih. Dist., iii., c. 36, 44. The submis- 
sion of Niall, is recorded by the Bodleian 
Ann. Innisf alien. A.D. 824,820 [but we 
must add 13 years to these dates]. See 
O'Donovan's Book of Rights, Introd., 
pp. XV., xvi. Dr. O'Donovan does not 
seem to have observed that the Annals 
of Ulster and the Four Mast, support 
the statement of the Ann. of Inisfallen. 
At 839 (which is 840) both say that 
Feidhlimidh, after plundering Meath 
and Bregia, rested at Tara, coniT)- 
TieiriT) (Ult.) or cotToeipT), settled., 
consedit. AsTarahadlongbef ore ceased 
to be a royal residence, this can only 
mean that Feidhlimidh had caused 
himself to be recognised as King of 
Tara, i.e.. King of Ireland. 

2 Submission. It is probable that 
after this submission of Forannan and 
his clergy, Feidhlimidh went to Ar- 
magh, where, as we are told by an au- 
thority quoted by Dr.O'Donovan (5oo^• 
of Rights, Introd., p. xvi., «.) — "he re- 
mained a whole year, durmg which he 
preached to the people everj^ Simday." 
In other words, he usurped the au- 
thority of the rightful bishop, and set 
an example which the Norsemen were 
not slow to follow. 

^ Doubtful. The words of the An- 
nals of Ulster at 839, are " The burn- 
ing of Ard-machiB with its oratories 
and stone church [DCtiinliacc]. Feidh- 
limidh, king of Munster, plundered 
Meath and Bregia, so that he rested 
at Tara." For the meaning of the 
word Dahnliacc, see Petrie, Round 
Towers, Transact. R. Irish Acad., vol. 
XX., p. 141, sq. The Chron. Scoto- 



among the 

mitted by Feidhlimidh, who (as they tell us in the same 
sentence) plundered Meatli and Bregia, and took posses- 
sion of the royal seat of Tara, in other words, of the throne 
of Ireland. Be this, however, as it may, Feidhlimidh, in 
816, plundered once more the Termon of Clonmacnois, 
and the next year' died of a disease which was supposed 
to have been miraculously inflicted, in punishment of his 
sacrilege, by Saint Kieran of Clonmacnois himself. 

About the same period, that is to say, during the first 
half of the ninth century, there were also disputes and 
contests amongst the clergy themselves, at Ai'magh 
especially. The succession of abbots or bishops there, 
was interrupted by these feuds ; the Annals differ as to 
the order and time of each prelate's incumbency. Eoghan 
Mainistrech,^ and Airtri, son of Conchobhair, the imme- 
diate predecessors of Forannan, were in continual war- 
fare. Aii-tri was in alliance with Feidhlimidh,^ of Cashel, 
and had the support of Cumasgach, son of Cathal, lord of 
the Oirghialla, who was his half brother ; Eoghan, on the 

rum, although it mentions at 840 the 
plunder of Meath and Bregia by Feidh- 
limidh, and his "resting at Tara," takes 
no notice of the burning of Armagh. 

1 Next year. It will be borne in 
mind that the Annals of Ulster are 
always one year, and the Four M., 
in this place two years earlier than 
the true dates, as given above. The 
plunder of Clonmacnois in 846, is 
recorded by the Four M. at 844 ; but 
IS omitted by the Ann. Ult. The 
sacrilegious life of this plundering 
bishop-king did not hmder his being 
regarded as a saint after his death. 
His festival was observed on the 28th 
Aug. See Mart, of Donegal, p. 129 ; 
Colgan, Triad. Thaum, p. 186, n. 54. 
The Ann. Ult, in recording his death, 
call him "optimus scriba et anchorita." 
If the latter years of his life were spent 
in retirement and penitence, there must 

be some mistake in the date assigned to 
his death : it is probable that he may 
have retired from public life, struck 
by conscientious scruples, and devoted 
his declining years to religion. If so, 
the date usually assigned to his deatli 
may have been really the date of his 
monastic profession. 

2 Eoghan Mainistrech. " Eugenius 
de Monasterio," i.e., of Monaster-boice. 
He had been " Lector" or ferleighinn 
of that monastery. For the story of 
the contests between him and his 
rival, see Four M., 825, Ann. Ult., 
826, 830. 

3 Feidhlimidh. In 822 [823], we 
are told "the law of Patrick was pro- 
mulgated in Munster by Feidhlimidh, 
son of Crimhthann, and Airtri, son of 
Concobhair, bishop of Armagh." Ann . 
Ult., and Four M., A.D. 822. 



other hand, appears to have been countenanced by Niall 
Caille, afterwards King of Ireland, whose confessor or 
" spiritual adviser" he had been. In 826 or 827, Cumas- 
gach drove Eoghan forcibly from Armagh, and put Ah-tri 
into his place. The same year Cumasgach was defeated 
and slain, at the battle of Leith-cam, by Niall Caille ; and 
Eoghan recovered his bishopric, in which he continued 
for nine years afterwards, upheld, as the Four Masters 
teU us, " by the power of Niall Caille," who, as they ob- 
serve, although he had not yet succeeded to the throne 
of Ireland, was "powerful in Ulster." In 829 or 830 
the abbacy' of Armagh seems to have been usurped by 
Suibhne, son of Fairnech,"^ who died after being in posses- 
sion for two months. The following year Eoghan was 
plundered, and his cattle carried off or kiUed, by Concho- 
bhair, son of Donnchadh, king of Ireland, who appears 
at that time to have been in alliance^ with Feidhlimidh of 
Cashel. Similar contentions existed between Forannan, ^ 

the prelate whose place was usurped by Turgesius, and 
Diarmait, who is usually accounted his successor. Their 
contest must have lasted during their whole lives, for 
they both died in the same year.* 

It was not wonderful that these dissensions should Apparent 
have suggested to Turgesius the expulsion of the contending polfif^of^ 
parties, for the pui'pose of taking the power into his own Turgesius. 
hands. He seems to have had in view a higher object 
than the mere plunder which influenced former depreda- 

1 Abbacy. The abbot of Armagh, in 
the phraseology of the Annals, fre- 
quently signifies the bishop ; the two 
offices being, at this time, usually, al- 
though not always, combined, and the 
abbacy being regarded as the higher 
in pomt of jurisdiction. 

2 Fairnech. "Alias MacForannain," 
Ann. Ult, 829 ; Four M., 829. 

3 Alliance. The same year Feidhli- 
midh was aided bv Couchobhair in the 

plunder of Magh Bregh and Magh 
Life. A nn. Ult, 830. Five years be- 
fore, they had held a conference at Birr, 
ia which they appear to have made some 
sort of alliance. Four Mast., 825. 

* Same year. " Duo heredes Pa- 
tricii, i.e., Forannan scriba et episco- 
pus et anchorita ; et Diarmait, sapien- 
tissimus omnium doctomm Europse, 
quieverunt" Ann. Ult., 851, Four 
Masters, 851. 



the subju- 
gation of 
all Ireland. 

tors of his nation. He aimed at the estabhshment of a. 
regular government or monarchy over his countrymen in 
Ireland, the foundation of a peraianent colony, and the 
subjugation or extermination of the native chieftains. 
For this purpose the forces under his command, or in con- 
nexion with him, were skilfully posted on Loch Kee, 
at Limerick, Dundalk Bay, Carhngford, Lough Neagh, 
and Dublin. He appears also to have attempted the 
establishment of the national heathenism of his own 
country, in the place of the Christianity which he found 
in Ireland. This may be the significance of his usurpation 
of the " abbacy" of Armagh. This may also be the mean- 
ing of the pretended prophecies,' quoted by ovir author, 
and attributed to the celebrated saints and prophets, 
Berchan, Columcille, Ciaran (or Kieran), and Bec-mac-De.^ 
These prophecies are, no doubt, palpable forgeries. But 
the fact that they were forged indicates the popular 
belief in a special contest between the Christian institu- 
tions of the country and the heathenism of the new comers. 
The common topic of them all is a complaint of the out- 
rages committed by the invaders upon the churches and 
monasteries of Ireland. 

Turgesius was not satisfied with the full supremacy he 
had acquired in the north of Ireland. He aimed at the 
extension of his power by the conquest of Meath and Con- 
naught, as a step to the subjugation of the whole country ; 
for this purpose he appears to have gone to Loch Ree,^ to 
take the command in person of the "fleet," which had been 
stationed there. From this central position he plundered, 
as our author tells us, the principal ecclesiastical establish- 
ments of Connaught and Meath, namely, Clonmacnois in 
Meath ; Clonfert of St. Brendan, in Connaught ; Lothra, 
now Lorrha, a famous monastery founded by St. Ruadhan, 

1 Prophecies. See chaps, ix., x., 
pp. 8-13. 

2 Bec-mac-De, or Mac Degadh. A 
celebrated prophet, whose name occurs 
in the Irish Calendars at Oct. 12. 

Martyrol. of Donegal, p. 273. He 
is said to have flourished in the 6th 
century. See O'Curry's Lectures, p. 
399, sq. 

3 Loch Ree. See chap, xi., p. 13. 



or Rodan, in the county of Tipperary ; Tir-da-glas/ now 
Terryglass, in the same county; Inis-Celtra, an island on 
which were seven chiu-ches, and all the other churches of 
Loch Dearg in like manner. This seems to prove that 
his object was the suppression of the ecclesiastical as well 
as civil authorities of the country, and the destiniction of 
the Christian church. With this view he placed his wife, 
Ota, at Clonmacnois, at that time second only to Annagh 
in ecclesiastical importance, who gave her audiences, or, 
according to another reading,^ her oracular answers, from 
the high altar of the principal chui'ch of the monastery. 

In Connaught his arms appear to have had a full Hissuccess 
triumph, for our Annals,^ at the year 835, which is pro- naught, 
bably A.D. 838, mention a most cruel oppression of all 
the districts of Connaught, and soon after tliis, speak of 
the battle recorded by our author,'* in which Maelduin, 
son of Muii'ghes, heir apparent of the tlu'one of Connaught, 
was slain. This, however, seems to have been just before 
the usurpation of the abbacy of Armagh, and the war in 
Comiaught was, therefore, most probably conducted by 
his officers, not by Tm-gesius in pereon. 

There had aiTÍved almost annually during this period Reinforce- 
great reinforcements to aid the troops of Turgesius, and arrive at 
the number of the foreignei's now in the island must have Dublin, 
been considerable. A fleet of three score and five ships 
landed at " Dubhliim of Ath-cliath,"-^ about 837 or 838, 

1 Tir-da-glas. Adamnan translates 
the name "Monasterium duorum ri- 
vorum." Vit. Columbce, Lib. ii., c. 36. 
Ed. Reeves, p. 153, n. The identifi- 
cation of this place with the modern 
Terrj'glass is due to Dr. Reeves. 

2 Reading. See note 8, p. 13. The 
Scandinavian name of this lady was 
probably Audr or Auda. She is not 
mentioned, so far as the editor knows, 
in any of the Sagas. 

3 Annals. " Vastatio crudelissima 
a gentilibus omnium linium Connach- 

tonun." Ann. Ult., 835, Four M., 

* Our author. Chap, xi., p. 13. 
This battle is dated by the Four M., 
838, and by the Annals of Ulster, 837. 
The true date was 840. 

5 I>uhhlinnof Ath-Cliath. "Black- 
pool of the ford of hurdles," the an- 
cient name of Dublin. This is proba- 
bly the same invasion which the Four 
M. and Ann. of Ulster mention at 836, 
although they speak of two fleets of 
Northmen, of 60 ships each, one on 



Battle in 

and plundered Leinster and Magh Bregh, or Bregia, the 
plain to the north of Dublin. The copy of this work in 
the book of Leinster^ adds, that after the plunder of 
Leinster and Bregia, the Dalriadans, headed apparently 
by their king, Eoghanan, son of Aengus, went north- 
wards from Dublin, and gave the Norsemen battle ; 
but, as it would seem, with doubtful success, for 
Eoghanan himself was slain. ^ Whether this battle was 
fought in the Irish Dahiada (now the Route, county of 
Antrim), or in the Scottish Dalriada, now Argyle, is left 
uncertain by our author. But it is most probable that the 
Scotch district is intended. For, since the establishment 
of the independence^ of the Scotch and Irish branches of 
the tribe, the Irish Annals employ the name Dalriada, 
almost uniformly, to signify the Scottish colony. Moreover, 
Eoghanan was King of the Albanian Dalriada, and the 
Four Masters tell us that Goifraidh,'* son of Fergus, chief 
of Oriel, "went over to Alba, in 835 (A.D. 837 or 838), 
to strengthen the Dalriada, at the request of Cinaedh (or 
Kenneth) MacAlpinn." This may have been on the occa- 
sion of the invasion here mentioned, when Eoghanan lost 
his life ; for the Annals of Ulster speak of the battle, at 

the Boyne and the other on the river 
Liifey ; " these two fleets," they add, 
"plundered and .spoiled Magh Liphe 
and Magh Bregh." See Dr. O'Dono- 
van's note, Four Mast., p. 454. The 
Four Masters, following the Chronicon 
Scotorum, tell us that this was "the 
first taking of Ath-eliath by the Gen- 

1 Book of Leinster. See Append. 
A., p. 226. Magh Bregh was the 
plain extending from the sea into the 
CO. of Meath, between the rivers Liffey 
and the Boyne. Its ancient limits, 
on the side of Meath, are not very 
accurately known. 

2 Slain. See p. 13, note 12. 

3 Independence. Viz., at the Synod 

or convention of Drumcheatt, A.D. 
590. " From this time forward," says 
Dr. Beeves, " the Irish Annals make 
occasional mention of the lords or chiefs 
of Dalriada, by whom they intend the 
Albanian princes; while the Irish 
territory is comparatively unnoticed, 
inasmuch as it was a mere sub-terri- 
tory, of the kingdom of Ireland." 
Eccles. Antiq. of Down and Connor, p. 

* Goffraidh. This must be the 
Scandinavian name Gothofred, and is 
a very early instance of the adoption 
of such names by the Irish, indicating 
the intennarriages which afterwards 
became very usual between the two 
])eii7)le, notwitlistanding their hostility. 



the year 838 (=A.D. 839), as having been fought in 
Fortrenn/ or Pietland, a name sometimes used loosely to 
signify Scotland in general. 

At this period our author says the sea seemed to vomit Reinforce- 
forth floods of invaders, so that " there was not a point Munster. 
of Ireland without a fleet." Nevertheless this statement 
probably refers, at least in the first instance, to Munster. 
For the places said to have been plundered by the new- 
comers are Bri-Gobhann,^ in the county of Cork; CiU 
Ita and Cuil Emhni, by a fleet which landed in Ciarraighe 
Luachra, now Kerry^ ; and the Martini^ of Munster, a tribe 
seated near Emly, by the fleet of Limerick. On this occa- 
sion, as we have already^ seen, Forannan, the exiled bishop 
of Armagh, was made prisoner by the pirates of Limerick, 
and the shrine of Patrick was broken by them. 

This was in 845 ; and in the same year Turgesius was Turgesius 
arrested in his victorious course, and drowned^ in Loch drowned. 

1 Fortrenn. " Bellura re genntibh 
for firu Fortrenn, in quo ceciderunt 
Eogunan mac Aengusa, et Aed mac 
Boanta ; et alii pene innumerabiles oc- 
ciderunt." Ann. Ult. See Reeves' 
Adamnon, p. 390. Kenneth mac 
Alpimi succeeded his father, A.D. 838, 
aud united the Picts to his kingdom, 
A.D. 842, thus becoming king of Alba 
or Scotland. See Ussher, Index Chron., 
and O'Flaherty, Ogyg., p. 481, where 
858 is an error of the press for 838. 

2 Bri-Gohhann. "Hill of the Smith," 
now Brigown, an old Church, which 
had formerly a round tower, near 
Mitchelstown, co. of Cork. Cill Ita 
or Church of St. Ita, now Killeedy, is 
in the CO. of Limerick. Cuil Emhni, 
is unknown, but was probably in the 
same district. 

3 Ken-y. Called Ciarraighe, from 
the descendants of Ciar, Son of Fergus, 
king of Ulster, m the first century, and 
Luachra [of Luchair], from the moun- 
tain Sliabh Luachra, to distinguish it 

from other districts inhabited by the 

^ Martini. See above note 5, p. 

^ Already. See p. xlii.-iii. 

6 Drowned. The story of his death, 
as told by Cambrensis, is refuted by 
Lynch, Cambrensis Eversus, vol. iii., 
p. 287 (Kelly's edit.) and was dis- 
believed by Colgan, Act. SS., p. 509, 
n. 4. But the legend was too tempt- 
ing to be omitted by Keating. It 
is briefly this: Turgesius being en- 
amoured of the daughter of King 
Maelsechlainn, it was arranged that 
she should receive him at a banquet, 
in an island in Loch Uair, where she 
appeared, surrounded by fifteen beard- 
less youths in female attire. They car- 
ried arms, however, concealed under 
their garments ; and when Turgesius, 
who had also fifteen attendants, ad- 
vanced to embrace them, they sud- 
denly drew their daggers and slew 
him with his followers. 



Is Turge- 
sius to be 
found in 
^^a^ his- 

His real 
Thorgils or 

Not the son 
of Harold 

Uair, by Maelsechlainn, then king of Meath, who soon 
afterwards succeeded to the throne of Ireland. 

This may be the proper place for some observations on 
the attempts that have been made to identify the Turge- 
sius of Ireland with some of the heroes of Scandinavian 

The name Turgesius or Turgeis, is evidently the Latin 
or Celtic form of Thorgils or Tliorkils, which occm-s so 
frequently in the northern Sagas; and the celebrated 
historian Snorro Sturleson' certainly regarded them as 
the same, for he tells us that Thorgils, the son of Harold 
Harfagr, was sent by his father with his brother, Frode, 
on an expedition to Scotland, Ireland, and Bretland, or 
Britain. They were the first of the Northmen, he adds, 
who took Dublin. Frode was poisoned there ; and Thor- 
gils, after a longer reign " fell into a snare of the Irish, 
and was killed." This proves that the historian intended, 
beyond all doubt, the Tiu-gesius of Ii'eland. The allusion is 
evidently to the story of the youths, disguised as girls ; and 
it is remarkable that Giraldus speaks of it, in the same 
language used by SnoiTO, as "a snare" laid for him, by 
which he lost his life.^ From this it seems almost certain 
that Snorro had Cambrensis before him, and that he meant 
to identify his Thorgils with the Turgesius of Irish history. 

It is evident, however, that Turgesius could not have been 
the son of Harold Harfagr, and that Snorro has erred by 
placing him nearly a century too late.^ The very men- 
tion of Dublin in Snorro's narrative is additional evidence 
of the anachronism ; for, according to the unanimous testi- 

1 Snorro Sturkson. Heimskringla 
Saga, iii., ch. 37 (Laing's transl., i., 
p. 304). 

2 Life. Topogr. Hibernia;, Dist., 
iii., cap. 37. 

3 Too late. This conclusion has 
been drawn from the same reasoning, 
by P. A. IMunch, Bet Norske Folks 
Historie (Christiania, 1852), vol. i., p. 
440 ; and by Maurer, Die Bekehrung 

des Norwegischen stammes zum Christen- 
ihume (Miinchen, 1855), Band, i., p. 
73. See also Langebek I., p. 518, n. 
(a.) The reign of Harold Harfagr is 
usually dated 861 to 931. If he had 
had a son old enough to command an 
expedition to Ireland in 831, he must 
have been considerably more than 100 
years of age when he died, in 931. 



mony of the Irish Annals/ it was in 837 or 838 tliat 
Dublin was first taken by the foreigners, who erected a for- 
tress there in 84] or 842. This was too soon for any son of 
Harold Harfagr; but it was within the period of the 
domination of Turgesius, who, according to every account, 
mvist have been slain, whilst Maelseachlain was still king 
of Meath, and, therefore, before the year 846, when that 
chieftain became king of Ireland. 

It has been suggested^ also that Turgesius may have been 
the king of Denmark and Norway, who is usually known 
by the name of Ragnar Lodbrok, or Hairybreeks. The 
history of this personage is full of fabulous and even con- 
tradictory adventiu'es, insomuch that some have main- 
tained that there were two of the name, and others solve 
the difficulty by denying the existence of Ragnar Lod- 
brok altogether, except in the legends of romantic history. 
This latter hypothesis, however, is scarcely consistent 
with the place he holds in Scandinavian genealogy, and 
he is not the only chieftain of his age and nation whose 
story has been interwoven with fable. His date^ agrees 
sufficiently well with the chronology of the reign of Tur- 
gesius, and there are some other very curious coincidences. 
Saxo Grammaticus,^ for example, tells us that Ragnar, 
with his sons, after having spent a year in England, in- 


of Dublin. 




was the 

same as 



^Annals. Chron. Scotorum, 837. 
Four Masters, 836. 

2 Suggested. This suggestion is due 
to Charles Haliday, esq., of Dixblin, 
who kindly communicated to the editor 
the materials of a learned and valuable 
paper on the Irish Norsemen, which, it 
is hoped, may soon be published. In 
this able paper Mr. Haliday supports 
the identity of Turgesius with Ragnar 
Lodbrok, by some very acute and in- 
genious arguments. Dr. O'Douovan 
(Fragments of Annals, p. 124;, m.) has 
suggested the same identity, but the 
editor happens to know that he bor- 
rowed the opinion from Mr. Haliday. 

3 Date. The limits of Ragnar's 

reign are variously assigned. Torfaius 
dates the beginning of his reign from 
809 to 815, and his death from 841 to 
865. Ser. Reg. Dan., p. 389. Heins- 
feld makes him reign from 818 to 865. 
Lyschander, 812 to 841. Svaning, 
815 to 841. See Langebek, Rer. Dan. 
Scriptores, I., p. 268. The Annales 
Islandici, have 812 to 845 ; placing 
his death in this latter year. 

* Saxo Grammaticus. Histor. Dan. 
lib. ix., p. 459, ed. Miiller, Hafii., 
1839. "Cumque ibidem [scil. at 
Norwich, after having vanquished 
Hella] annum victor explesset, con- 
sequenter, excitis in opem filiis, Hyber- 
niam petit, occisoque ejus rege Mel- 

to Saxo. 



in identi- 
fying him 

was slain 
in Ireland. 

vaded Ireland, " killed its king, Melbricus, and took 
Dublin, a city then full of barbarian wealth." Now, it 
is curious, that the Irish Annals at a date which answers 
to 831, mention an ini'oad of "Gentiles" upon the district 
of Louth, when Maelhvighte, king of the Conaille, and 
his brother, Cananann, were taken prisoners by them, 
and cariied to theii- ships.* It seems highly probable that 
the Melbricus of Saxo was the Maelbrighte of the Irish 
historians, and, if so, that Ragnar Lodbrok was the 
leader of this party. The year 831 was, therefore, the date 
of his appearance in Ireland ; but 832, as we have seen, 
was the year in which Turgesius invaded the north of 
Ireland, and plundered Armagh three times in one month. 
Here then is a coincidence, which, as far as it goes, would 
seem to identify the tyrant, Tui-gesius, with Ragnar Lod- 
brok. It is true there are discrepancies in the narrative, 
which shake the certainty of this conclusion. There is no 
mention of Dublin in the Irish accounts, and the first occu- 
pation of Dublin was some six or seven years later. Saxo 
says that Melbricus was killed, whereas the Annals speak 
only of his having been made prisoner. But he may 
have been made prisoner, and afterwards been put to death. 
There is, therefore, no real contradiction ; and so also Tur- 
gesius, although he did not take Dublin in 831, did cer- 
tainly occupy it as a garrison a few years afterwards. 

The seiious difficulty, however, is, that Ragnar Lodbi'ok, 
according to Saxo's account, is said to have remained in 
L-eland for one year only ; nor was he slain in Ireland, as 
Turgesius was, but returned to his native land to prose- 
cute further conquests. These may indeed be aU fabulous 
variations of the history. A tradition that Lodbrok 
was slain in Ireland certainly prevailed in the north. It 

brico, Duflinam, barbaris opibus refer- 
tissimam obsedit, oppugnavit, accepit ; 
ibique annuo stativis babitis, mediter- 
raneum fretum pemavigans, ad Helles- 
pontieum penetravit, &c," 

1 Ships. See Ann. Ult., 830, Four 
M., 829. The Conaille were the 

inhabitants of the district of Muir- 
theimhne, comprising that portion of 
the CO. of Louth between Cuailgne 
(now the Cooley mountains) and the 
river Boyne. See the Editor's St. 
Patrick^ Apostle of Ireland, p. 406, 



is preserved in the chronicle of King Eric' ; and another 
Scandinavian authority asserts that he was put to death 
" by Hella, an Irish regulus,"^ in the year 854 or 804. 

Add to this that the text of the Icelandic Annals gives Date of 

r . Raffnar'.i 
the year 845 as the date of Ragnar's death, thus coinciding death, iu 

remarkably with the date assigned in Lisli history to the t'^®, ,. 

'' ii'iT 1 Icelandic 

death of Turgesius. It must be admitted, however, that Annals. 
the arg-ument from this coincidence is impaired by the 
various readings^ in other MSS. of those Annals. 

It is not explained how Ragnar could have come to be The change 
known in Ireland under the name of Thorgils, unless we from 
suppose him to have assumed that title as descriptive of íí^^'"*'.^ *•* 

. Thort''ils 

his zeal for the god Thor, or possibly of his office, as high not ex- 
priest of Thor, when he usurped the " abbacy" of Armagh, P'anied. 
and endeavoured to convert the Christian capital of Ire- 
land into the head quarters of Scandinavian idolatry. 
But in the Sagas the name Thorgils seems to be in every 
instance employed as a man's ordinary name ; we have no 
evidence of its having been used as a title of office, or to 
signify a high priest. And Turgesius may have equally 
represented the Scandinavian name Trygve. 

1 King Eric. Apud Langebek, 
Rer. Dan. Scriptt. torn. I., p. 156. 
" Tandem in Hibemia occisus est, et 
filii ejiis fere oranes in diversis locis 
sunt occisi." The Lodbrokar Quida 
{Stroph. 16), represents Ragnar as 
having slain Marstein, " a king of 
Ireland," at Vedratiord (Waterford). 
The historical authority of this poem 
is not great ; but this passage seems 
evidence of the existence of a tradition 
that Ragnar had been in Ireland. 

2 Regulus. See Cornel. Hemsfort, 
Series regum ; ap. Langebek I., p. 36. 
" Qui Regnerus ab Hella Hybernorum 
regulo captus, gravi supplicio afficitur, 
necatus in carcere anno 854, Fossius 
habet 865." This seems a version 
of the stoi7, that Ragnar, being 
taken captive by Ella, king of Deira, 

or Northumberland, was cast into a 
dungeon and stung to death by vene- 
mous snakes. Ishndzkir Annul., p. 5. 
Turner's ^wí/fo *S'axo?is (2nd. edit.), i., 
223. Lappenberg (Thorpe's transl.), 
ii., p. 30. Ella or Hella, may have been 
considered an Irish regulus, because 
in the ninth and tenth centuries the 
Scandinavian kings of Dublin were 
also kings of Northumbria; and the 
snakes may have been a bardic descrip- 
tion of the poignards of King Mael- 
sechlainn's daughter and her followers ; 
but there is anachronism as well as 
confusion in the story. 

3 Various readings. Other MSS. 
of the Icelandic Annals, give the dates 
838, 850, and 885. Islendzkir Annular, 
ed. Werlauff (i7a/rt., 18-17), p. 7. 



The kings It is certain, however, that the chieftains who carried 
umbeiiand on the War in Noi-thumberland from the middle of the 
and Dublin ninth centurv, and who subsequently became masters or 

were the i «^ 

descend- " kings" of Dublin, were sons^ and descendants of Ragnar 
ants of Lodbrok. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle mentions Ingvar 

Kagnar. " " 

or Ivar, and Ubba, as the leaders of the heathen army 
which was quartered at Thetford, and there gained a 
victory over king Eadmund, A.D. 870, in which "the 
king was slain, all that land subdued, and all the monas- 
teries which they came to destroyed." This seems to 
have been the same army^ which had settled in East 
Anglia in 866. The Ivar or Ingvar here mentioned, as we 
learn from the Icelandic Annals,^ was Ivar, surname d Bein- 
laus, or the Bone-less, son of Ragnar Lodbrok, by his third 
wife, Aslauga,'* or Asloga, daughter of Sigurd Fofnisban. 
Ubba or Ubbo, was also a son of Lodbrok, but, as it would 
seem, illegitimate.'^ His name does not occur in the Irish 
Annals; but Ivar is mentioned in the Annals of the Four 

1 Sons. See Lappenberg Hist, of 
England (Thorpe's transl.), ii., p. 30. 

2 Army. See Anglo-Saxon Chron. 
at the date mentioned above. Ethel- 
weard, Chron. lib. iv., c. 2, A.D. 

3 Icelandic Annals. Hafni», 1847, 
p. 5. The story is thus told. When 
the news of Ragnar's having been put 
to death reached his sons, who were then 
celebrating some public games, Ivar 
went to England. His brothers fol- 
lowed him soon after with great forces, 
slew Ella, and Ivar became king of 
England, i.e., of Northumbria. Saxo 
Grammaticus has the same story, but 
he makes the sons of Ragnar to have 
been in Ireland when the news of their 
father's death reached them ; lib. ix., 
p. 461. 

^ Aslauga. Landnamabok, p. 38.5. 
Their sons were Sigurd Ormr-i-auga 
(or Serpent-eye) ; Huitserk, K. of 
Reidgothia and Finland ; Biom larn- 
sida (Ironside); and Ivar Beinlaus (the 

boneless). They had one daughter, 

5 Illegitimate. Saxo, tells the story 
of his birth, Hist. Dan.., lib. ix., p. 451. 
There is a passage in Asser"s Gesta 
.íElfridi, or rather in some copies of it, 
at the year 878, which proves it to have 
been the popular belief that Hungar or 
Ivar, and Ubba were the sons of Rag- 
nar Lodbrok ; speaking of their banner 
called Reafan [the Raven] " illud 
vexillum quod Reafan nominant," — he 
says, " dicunt enim quod tres sorores 
Hungari et Hubbae, filiie videlicet 
Lodbroki, illud vexillum texuerunt, 
et totum paravenmt illud uno meri- 
diano tempore ; dicunt etiam quod in 
omni bello ubi prsecederet idem signum, 
si victoriam adepturi essent, appareret 
in medio signi quasi corbus vivens 
volitans : sin vero vincendi in futuro 
fuissent, penderet direete nihil movens: 
et hoc Siepe probatum est." Monu- 
menta Tlist. Brilann. (ed Petrie), p. 
481. Cf. Anf/h-Sax. Chron.. A.D. 878. 



Masters as being in alliance with Cearbhall, or Carroll, 
king of Ossory, and the Gaillgaedhil, or apostate Lish, 
when the}^ defeated the Cinel Fiachach/ in 856 or 857, in 
the county of Tipperary. In the same year, according to 
the Annals of Ulster, Ivar and Amlaf, or Olaf, gained a 
victory over Caittil Find^ and the Gaillgaedhil in the 
territories of Munster. If these dates are correct, Ivar 
Beinlaus was in Ireland ten years before his first appear- 
ance in England; and it was from Ireland he conquered 
the kingdom of Northumbria. 

The Earl Onphile is mentioned^ as a leader of the party Battle of 
of foreigners who were defeated, and Onphile killed, at Koscrea, 
Roscrea,* the Irish having been assembled in great num- 
bers at the fair which was held there on the festival of 
Paul and Peter (29th June), the same year in which Tur- 
gesius was drowned, A.D. 845. 

Our author then gives a list of a great nmnber of inva- New 


^ Cinel Fiachach, or Kinelea, the 
inhabitants of the present barony of 
Moycashel, in Westmeath. 

2 Caittil Find. This seems to be the 
Scandinavian name KetiU, with the 
Irish addition of Finn, white. He 
is probably the same whose destmc - 
tion with that of his whole garrison 
is mentioned, ch. xxiii., p. 23, of the 
present work. See p. Ixxi, note ^. 

^Mentioned. See chap, xv., p. 15, 
and p. 227. The name of this chief- 
tain, which, m some MSS., is written 
Oilfin, or Oilfinn (perliaps the Scan- 
dinavian Halfdane), does not occur in 
the Irish Annals, and the present work 
seems the only ancient antliority in 
which the battle of Roscrea is recorded. 

* Roscrea. Keating (O'Mahony's 
transl,, p. 546,) quotes a tract by 
Fingin or Florence MacCarthy, as his 
authority for the account he gives of 
this battle. This tract is a letter, the 
original of which is in the Libraiy of 
Trin. Coll., Dublin, E. 3, 16. It is in 

English, addressed to some nobleman 
who is called "your Lordship," but 
whose name does not appear. The 
passage referred to by Keating is as 
follows. — Speaking of the existence 
of markets and fairs as a proof of the 
ancient commerce of Ireland, MacCar- 
thy says, " Such as when in the times 
when the Danes invaded that countrj'-, 
Counte Olfj-n ledd 3,000 or 4,000 
Danes from Limericke to ruíBe or 
spoyle the fayre that was on St. Peter 
and Paule's day at Rosscrea in Elie" 
[i.e., Ely O'CarroU, King's cc, and 
part of Tipperary. — see B. of Rights, 
p. 78, «..] : " the number of buyers 
and sellers that were here came in 
armes against him, and overthrew and 
killed him and his forces." The letter 
is subscribed "your Lordship's most 
humble and faithfull to be commanded 
Florentius 3facartt/e." It is not im- 
probable that the present work may 
have been MacCarthy's authority for 
this notice of the battle of Roscrea. 




Fleets at 
Neagh and 

by the 
fleet of 

sions to which he assigns no exact dates. The first of 
these was by a fleet of sixty ships, which appeared at the 
mouth of the Boyne, and plundered Bregia and Meath. 
The aiTÍval of this fleet is dated by our Annals in the 
same year in which a fleet of sixty ships landed at 
Dublin,^ and plundered the plains of Liffey and Bregia. 
But if our author intended the order of his naiTative to 
be chronological, the sixty ships on the Boyne must have 
arrived in or after the year 84^5. 

It seems scarcely necessary to do more than mention 
here the pai-ts of the coast at which the several " fleets" 
are said to have landed, with the places noticed by 
our author as having been plundered by each party of 
invaders. They are as follow : — 

A fleet settled on Loch Echach or Loch n-Echach [now 
Lough Neagh] and plundered all before them to Armagh. 
Another on the Lifley, and plundered Magh Breagh, " both 
country and churches."^ Then came " a very gi'eat fleet" 
(ch. xvii.) to the south of AthcKath, or Dublin, which 
plundered the greater part of Ireland. 

Our author gives the names of the principal ecclesias- 
tical establishments that sufíered from this invasion, but 
he evidently does not enumerate them in the order in 
which they were plundered. Hi Coluim-cille was probably 
attacked by the pkates on their way to Ireland. Inis- 
Muiredhaigh,^ an island ofl* the north coast of Sligo, was 

'^Dublin. See chap, xii., and the 
note 5; p. xlix, supra. 

~ Churches. It is possible that this 
may be a duplicate entry of the ar- 
rival of the fleet mentioned, chap. xii. 
If not, we have three fleets spoken of 
as having landed at the same place, 
■which plundered nearly the same dis- 
trict about the sane time, viz.: 1. The 
fleet of sixty-five ships which landed 
at Dublin, and plundered Leinster and 
Bregia (chap xii.) 2. The fleet of sixty 
ships which landed at the Boyne and 
plundered Bregia and Meath (chap. 

xvi.) : this fleet our author says came 
after the battle of'Roscrea, i.e., after 
845. 3. A tliird fleet, which settled on 
the Liffey (meaning, perhaps, the plain 
so called, not the river), and plun- 
dered Bregia (chap, xvi.) 

3 Inis-Muiredhaigh. " Island of St. 
Muiredhach," first bishop of Killala, 
now called Inishmurray. — Archdall, 
Monast., p. 635. If the pirates had 
come from Hi Coluimkilleto Inishmur- 
ray, it is not likely that they would 
have gone round all the way to Dublin 
without landing; possibly, therefore. 



not in their course from the Northern seas to Dublin, but 
it may have been plundered on their way home. It will 
be seen from the places' mentioned that this party of 
marauders had penetrated into the very heart of the 
country. # 

We have next (ch. xviii.) a list of the several ecclesi- Monasteries 
astical cells and monasteries pkmdered by a fleet which plundered 
came to the south of Ireland'^. The pirates are said to from the 
have killed " Rudgaile, son of Trebtade, and Cormac, ^°^^^' 

the Ath Cliath (Hurdleford) where 
they are said to have landed, was not 
Duhlinn A tha Cliath, as it is called, chap, 
xii., p. 12, but Ath Cliath Medraighe, 
now Clarinhridge, at the eastern end of 
the bay of Galway. The Eiskir, or ridge 
of gravel hills which divided the north- 
ern from the southern half of Ireland, 
(" Leth Cuinn" from " Legh Mogha,") 
is terminated at its eastern extremity 
by Ath Cliath Dublinne, and at its 
western by Ath Cliath Medraighe 
The ancient district, called Medraighe, 
was identical in extent with the pre- 
sent parish of BaUynacourty (See 

Circuit of 3iuirchertach, p. 47, note, 
and O^Flaherty's West Connaught by 
Ilardiman, p. 41). However, when 
Ath Cliath is spoken of simplj^, with- 
out anything to distinguish it from 
other places of the name, Dublin is 
generally intended. The present town 
of Ballymote, in the barony of Cor- 
ran, county of Sligo, was anciently 
Ath Cliath an Chorann ; but as this is 
an inland town it could not have 
been the Ath Cliath here intended. 
There were many other places called 
Ath Cliath in Ireland. — CDonovarís 
By Fiachrach, p. 171, w., 262, n. 

^ The places. These are Daimhinis, 
now Devenish island, in Loch Erne, 
county of Fermanagh; Glendaloch, in 
the county of Wicklow ; all Leinster, 
as far as to Achadh-ur, (now Fresh- 

ford, county of Kilkenny : see Petrie, 
Round Toioers, p. 282, sq.) ; and to 
Achadh-bo, (now Aghaboe, Queen's 
covmty: Archdall, p. 588); and to 
Liath Mocaemhoc, (now Leigh, in the 
east of the parish of Two-mile Bor- 
ris, in the barony of Eli-Fogarty or 
Eliogarty, county of Tipperarj') ; and 
to Baire-mor, which the Martyrol. of 
Donegal says was only a mile from 
Liath, (May 20, p. 135,) The Life 
of St. Mochaomhoc, (quoted Four 
Mast, 1014, p. 781, m.,) states that 
Daire-mor was "in regione Muminen- 
sium;" and Dr. O'Donovan identifies it 
with Kilcolman in the present King's 
coiinty, which was indeed a part of 
the antieut Munster, (5. of Rights, p. 
79, m). But Kilcolman must have been 
more than a mile from Liath. The 
other places mentioned are Clonfert- 
Molua, now Kyle, near Borris-in- 
Ossory, Queen's county; Roscre, now 
Roscrea, county of Tipperary; Clon- 
macnois, Kmg's county ; Saighir, now 
Seirkieran, near BiiT, King's county ; 
and Burmhagh, now Durrow, the ce- 
lebrated abbey of St. Columkille, 
barony of Ballycowan, King's county. 
It wiU be observed that every one of 
these places was the site of a remark- 
able ecclesiastical establishment. 

^ South of Ireland. The copy of 
this work preserved in the Book of 
Leinster says, to Limerick. 

e 2 



son of Selbach, an anchorite," of whom no mention has 
been found elsewhere.^ But they met with a very decided 
opposition. They were " slaughtered" at Ard-Feradaigh 
by the Mumha Medhonach, or men of Middle Munster ; 
and they were opposed by "thff south of Ireland," that 
is to say, by the Eoghanacht Ua nEochaidh,^ who were 
under the command of their chieftain, Donnchadh, son 
of Amhalgaidh, and of Clochna, (or as the Four Mas- 
ters call him, Clothnia,) Lord of Corca-Laighe. The 
latter of these warriors, and probably both, were slain on 
this occasion, for the Four Masters I'ecord the deaths of 
both in the same year, 844 (really 845), without saying 
that they wei'e killed in battle, although our author ex- 
pressly tells us that Clochna was slam by the foreigners, 
and the MS. L. adds, after the mention of Donnchadh, 
the parenthesis,^ " it was at Cork he was killed." The 
battle of Ard Feradaigh, or Carn Feradaigh, as it is also 
called, a mountain in the south^ of the county Limerick, 
is dated by the Four Masters 886 (=838). This, with 
the date they have given to the deaths of the chieftains 
who commanded the troops of South Munster, sufficiently 
fixes the chronology^ of this invasion. It will be observed 

1 Elsewhere. The editor has not 
succeeded in discovering elsewhere the 
legend that Cormac, son of Selbach, 
was thrice set free by an angel, and 
thrice bound again. See p. 19. 

2 Eoghanacht ua nEochaidh. The 
descendants of Eochaidh, son of Cas, 
son of Conall Core— See Append. B, 
Table IV., No. 8, p. 248, and note «, 
p. 18. Their territory was originally 
the barony of Cinel-mBece, now Kin- 
elmeaky, county of Cork, but they 
afterwards encroached on the neigh- 
bouring districts. — See Booh of Blights, 
p. 25G, n. Corca-Laighe, the country 
of the Ui Edirsceoil or O'Driscolls, 
was nearly coextensive with the pre- 
sent diocese of Ross — See Miscell. of 
Celtic Sac, App. E., p. 87. 

3 Parenthesis. See p. 19, n. ^. 

^ South. In the territory of Cliu 
Mail. Four Mast. A.D. 822, p. 245, n. 
O'Donovan suggests that it may have 
been the ancient name of Seefin, 
barony of Coshlea, county of Lime- 
rick, Four Mast, A.M. 3656. 

s Chronology. If, however, we give 
any weight, as marks of chronology, 
to the words of our author, " there 
came after this," which he repeats at 
every record of a new invasion, there 
is some discrepancy between his chron- 
ology and that of the Four Mast. : for 
this latter authoritj' dates the slaughter 
of the pirates at Carn Feradaigh 830, 
=838. These must, therefore, have 
been in Ireland before the death of 
Turgesius, which took place in 845, 



that all the places attacked or plundered are in the south, ' 
and in Munster. 

Then follows (chap, xix.) a list of places plundered by Additional 
" the fleet of Ath-Cliiith," or Dublin. This was apparently Jj^J^^^^ 
the fleet mentioned in chapter xvii., which our author says plundered 
landed at the south of Ath-cliath and plundered the greater ^l^^ ^^ 
part of Ireland. He had interrupted his list of their depre- Dublin. 
dations in the interior of Ireland to speak of the other 
fleet which had appeared in the south of Munster about 
the same time, and he now continues his account of the 
monasteries^ plundered by the former party. In the 
com-se of his narrative he particularly mentions the death 
of Aodh, son of Dubh-da-Crich, who was comarb or suc- 
cessor of Colum Mac Crimhthainn, that is, abbot of Tir- 
daglass,^ and also successor of St. Fintan, in other words 
abbot also of Cluain Eidneach, or Clonenagh. This event 
is placed by the Annals of Ulster and by the Fom- 
]\Iasters in the same year in which Turgesius was slain. 
The Ulster Annals aoTee with the statement of our author 
that the abbot Aodh was slain in the attack upon Dun- 
Masc ; but the Four Masters* tell us that he was taken 

■whereas our author makes them the 
third fleet of invaders that anived 
after that event. Compare chaps, 
xvi., xvii., xviii. 

1 South. These are Scelig 3Iichil, 
the island of which we have already 
spoken (see p. xxxviii). Jnis Fiainn, 
or more correctly Inis Faithlenu, now 
Inisfallen, an island in the Lower Lake 
of Killarney; Disert Domkain, now 
unknown ; Cluain mór, now ClojTie ; 
Eos Ailithri, now Ross, county of Cork ; 
and Cenn-mara (head of the sea), now 
Kenmare, county of Kerry. 

2 Monasteries. These are Cilldara, 
or Kildare ; Cluain Eidhnech, now 
Clonenagh, the celebrated monastery 
of St. Fintan, in the Queen's county; 
Cenn-Etigh, now Kinnetty, King's 
county; Cill Ached now Killeigh, 
King's county ; Dun Masc, [fortress of 

Masc, an ancient chieftain,] then 
most probably ecclesiastical, now the 
rock of Dunamase, near ilarj-boroiigh, 
Queen's county — (see Dr. O'Donovan's 
note, Four Mast., 843) ; Cennannus, 
now Kells, county of Meath ; Afainister 
Suite, the monaster^' of St. Buite or 
Boetius, now Monasterboice, county 
of Louth; Daimhliac Cianain, now 
Duleek (of St.t^Iianan) ; Sord of Colum 
Cille, now Swords, near Dublin ; and 
Finnghlass-Cainnigh, now Finglas, near 
Dublin, where there was a famous 
monastery, founded by St. Cainnech, 
or Canice, of Achadhbo, and of Kil- 
kenny, in the 6th centuiy. 

5 Tirdaglass. See above, p. x, n ^. 

* Four Mastei's. The record of this 
event in the Annals of Ulster is this : 
" Plunder of Dun Masc by the Gentiles, 
where was slain Aedh, or Aodh, son of 



Arrival of 
the Dubh- 
iiaill, or 

Thev take 

Battle of 


prisoner and carried off to Munster, where " he suffered 
martyrdom for the sake of God." 

So far our author has chronicled the depredations of the 
White or azure Gentiles, that is to say the Norwegians, 
dow^i to the end of the dynasty of Turgesius, for none of 
the invasions hitherto mentioned, so far as we can ascer- 
tain their actual dates, seem to have been much later than 
the death of that chieftain. He now proceeds (chap, xx.) 
to record the arrival of the DuhhgaiH, Black Gentiles, 
Danars, or Danes, who contested possession of the country 
with the Finngall or White Gentiles. 

The Annals of Ulster and of the Four Masters tell us 
that this Danish fleet fii-st came to Dublin in 852, where 
they plundered, after great slaughter, the fortress erected 
by the Finngall or Norwegians, and that there was soon 
afterwards a great battle between the two parties at Linn- 
DuachailV in which the Danes were victorious. The 
Norwegians or White foreigners then mustered a fleet of 
eio'ht score ships and gave battle to the Danes at Snamh 

Dubh-da Crich, abbot of Tir-da-glass 
and of Cliiain Eidhneach, and where 
were slain Ceithernac, son of Cudinaisu, 
sub-abbot of Kildare, and many others." 
Ann. UH., iU. The Four Masters 
(843) have the following entry: "An 
army by the foreigners of Ath Cliath 
at the Cluana an Dobhair," [the plains 
roimd KiUeigh, King's county,] "and 
the burning of the fort of Cill-achaidh'' 
[Dr. O'Donovan has " the fold," an 
error of the press for /ort, of Cill- 
achaidh, or Killeigh,] " and Nuadhat, 
son of Seighen, was martjTcd by them. 
The plunder of Dunmase by the fo- 
reigners, where Aedh, son of Dubh- 
dacrich, abbot of Tir-da-glas, and of 
Cluain-eidhnech, was taken prisoner ; 
and they carried him into Munster, 
where he suffered martyrdom for the 
sake of God ; and Ceithernac, son of 
Cudinaisg, prior of Cilldara, with many 
others besides, was killed by them, 
during the same plunder." 

1 Limi Duacliaill: not Magheralin, 
county of Down, as 0' Donovan once 
thought; Circuit of Ireland, note on 
line 35. He afterwards corrects the 
error, Fragvients of Annals, p. 120. 
Four J/., 1045, p. 848, n. Linn-Dua- 
chaill was in the county of Louth, S.E. 
of Castle-Bcllingham. It was on the 
banks of the river called Casan Linne, 
Mart. Doneg. (March 30, p. 91, comp. 
Colgan, Actt. SS., pp. 792, 793). This 
river is mentioned in the circuit of 
Ireland (Joe. cit.) as a station south of 
Glen Righe, or the vale of Newry, and 
between it and Ath Gabhla on the 
Boyne. This does not describe the 
position of Magheralin, which is con- 
siderably to the north, and inland. 
Part of the name Casan Linne is pre- 
served in the name Anuagassan \^Aon- 
ach g-Casain, " Fair of Casan,"] a vil- 
lage at the tidal opening of the junc- 
tion of the rivers Glyde and Dee ; a 
much more likely place for a Danish 



Aidhnecli' or Carlingford. The contest lasted three days 
and three nights. The Danes gained the victory, and the 
Norwegians abandoned their ships. The Annals of Ulster 
mention the names of the two Norwegian leaders in this 
conflict, Stam, (or perhaps we should read Stain,) who 
escaped by flight, and lercne who was beheaded.^ 

The "Fragments of Annals,"^ copied by Duald or Dudley Account of. 
Mac Firbis, from a MS. belonging to Gilla-na-naemh Mac i^\^ 
Eofan, add the followino; very curious particulars to this ^lac Firbis 

* ' i=> J 1 Annals. 

narrative : — 

The Lochlanns or Norwegians (we are not told where 

they were at the time, perhaps at Dublin,) perceive the 

approach of a fleet. Being uncertain whether it was 

friendly or hostile, they send out a swift ship to ascertain 

the fact. The strangers prove to be Danes ; and the 

Norwegian ship is received with a shower of aiTows from 

the nearest vessel of the enemy. A battle at sea ensues 

between the two hostile ships, in which the Danes are 

victorious, and the crew of the Norwegian ship are all 

piratical settlement than Magheralin. 
There is a townland called Linns, in 
the parish of Gernonstown, which runs 
down along the sea to Annagassan 
Bridge. The Casan Linne was pro- 
bably the river now called the Glyde, 
and Linu-Duachaill must have been 
at the united mouth of the Glyde and 
Dee. For this information the editor 
is indebted to Dr. Eeeves. 

^Snamh Aidhnech. This was the 
ancient name of the present Carling- 
ford bay, which, however, is tautology ; 
for the Scandinavian termination fiord 
signifies " bay." The Four M. have 
the simple name Cairlinn frequently. 
Karlinfordia occurs in Giraldus Cam- 
brensis. Snamh in Irish topographical 
names is a swimming place, a ford, 
narrow enough to be crossed by swim- 
ming, but too deep to be passed on 
foot. Snamh Aighneac is the reading 
of the Brussels Fragments of Annals 
p. 121; of the Four Mast.; Ann. Ult; 
and L. ; but the apparent differences 

Eidhneach, Aidhneach, and Aignech 
are only variations of spelling. See 
note 13^ p. 19. The place is called 
Snamh Ech in the Mart, of Donegal, 
(2nd April, p. 93), which signifies "the 
horse swimming ford." Dr. Reeves 
has shown that the Danish settlement 
at Snamh- aighnech was near Caol- 
uisce or Narrow-water, at the head of 
Carlingford Lough. See his note on 
Cillsnabha (Itinerary of Father Cana.) 
Ulster Journal of Archceol., vol. ii, 
p. 45. 

i Beheaded. "Stam [reaci Stain] fu- 
gitivus evasit et lercne decoUatus 
jacuit." Ann. Ult. A.D. 851=852. 
The Scandinavian names of these 
chieftains were probably Stein, or 
Steinar, and Eirehr. 

3 Annals. Edited by Dr. O'Donovan 
from a MS. (not, however, the auto- 
graph of MacFirbis,) in the Burgun- 
dian Library at Brussels. (Printed 
for the Irish Archaiological and Celtic 
Society— 1860.) 



slain. The Danes bring up their fleet to the shore, and 
in another battle kill thrice their own number, and deca- 
pitate every one of the slain. They take the ships of the 
Lochlanns with them to a port (probably Dublin, which 
the Annals represent as the scene of this first battle,) and 
carry oif " the women, the gold, and all the property of the 
Lochlanns with them." " And thus," says the historian, 
" the Lord took away from them [i.e. from the Norwegians] 
all the wealth which they had taken from the churches, 
and sanctuaries, and shrines of the saints of Erinn." 

The vanquished collect great forces, and with seventy 
ships, ^ under their leaders Zain (Stain) and largna, make 
their appearance at Snamh Aighnech or Carlingford, where 
the Danes had stationed their fleet. The Norwegians or 
White Gentiles are victorious,^ and the Danes abandon 
their ships. The Danish general, Horm, harangues his 

1 Serenty skips. The Four M., A.D. 
850 [852], and Ann. Ult. 851, say 
] 60. The chieftains here called Zain 
and largna are evidently the same 
who are called Stain and lercne in the 
Annals of Ulster. 

" Victorious. This seems at variance 
with the account given by the Ulster 
Annals and by the Four j\I. But the 
discrepancy is perhaps only apparent. 
For the Danes were ultimately victo- 
rious: and the only real difference is 
that the Annals have omitted the story 
of their having been at first defeated, 
and afterwards gaining the victory by 
the intercession of St. Patrick. This 
story was probably invented to blacken 
the Norwegians, whose depredations 
were especially directed against the 
churches and religious houses of Ire- 
land, and who are, therefore, repre- 
sented as having been punished by an 
intervention of Heaven. The Danes 
maj' have been vanquished in the first 
engagement, or else were made to have 
been vanquished to give greater eclat 
to their subsequent victor^' against 
superior numbers, " by the tutelage of 
St. Patrick," although they had not at 

the time received Christianity. They 
are represented as still barbarous and 
brutal; supporting, on the bodies of 
the slain, the spits on which their meat 
was roasting. Nevertheless, the stoiy 
of their vow to St. Patrick is not, in 
itself, incredible. The doctrine of tute- 
lary saints, whose patronage was espe- 
cially granted to certain territories, 
Avas so closely aUied to the pagan notion 
of tutelary gods, that it readily com- 
mended itself to the heathen, who knew 
the Christianity of that age only by 
this prominent feature of it ; and we 
can easily understandwhyecclcMastics, 
living at the time of the Keformation, 
would naturally suppress the story of 
the Danes having purchased the patron- 
age of St. Patrick, by sharing with 
him the spoils gamed by their victory. 
Their general, Horm, Gorm, or Gormo, 
may have been possibly the same who 
was surnamed Eiiske or A /ifflicus, be- 
cause he was born in England. This 
Gonno was ultimately converted to 
Christianity, which renders it the more 
pri)l).iblc that he may have suggested 
on tliis occasion the invocation of St. 



men ; representing to them that they had everything to 
lose, and ad\'ising them to put themselves under the pro- 
tection of St. Patrick, by promising to the saint "honourable 
alms for gaining victory and triumph" over enemies who 
had plundered his churches and outraged all the saints of 
Ireland. This advice was followed ; and in the next 
engagement, although with very inferior numbers, the 
Danes gain the victory "on account of the tutelage of 
St. Patrick." The "treasures of gold and silver" in the 
camp of the Norwegians became the prize of the victoi's, 
together with " the other property, as well of their women 
and ships." Five thousand' "goodly born men," with 
" many soldiers, and people of every grade in addition to 
this number," were slain^ in the engagement. 

The arrival of another fleet in Ciarraighe^ is then re- The county 
corded (ch. xx). They plundered " to Limerick and Cill '^^^'^TV 
Ita."* If this be understood as including Limerick, this 
" fleet" was probably Danish, for we know that Limerick 
was already in the possession of the first comers, and was 
probably founded by them. 

1 Five thousand. This seems an in- 
credible number. The Roman nume- 
rals ii. and u, might easily have been 

2 Slain. " Fragments of Annals," pp. 
114-123. The historian adds, p. 125, 
that the Danes fulfilled their vow, and 
after the victory filled " a good wide 
trench with gold and silver to give to 
Patrick ;" for he adds, the Danes were 
" a people who had a kind of piety, 
i.e., they gave up meat and women 
a while for piety." 

3 Ciarraighe. The tribe name of the 
posteritj' of Ciar, son of Fergus, king of 
Ulster, by Meadhbh or Maud, queen of 
Connaught. There were several dis- 
tricts in Ireland, called Ciarraighe, 
where branches of this family had 
settled (see O'Flaherty, Or/yg., p. 276 j, 
but the principal of these tribes was 
the Ciarraighe Luachra, or Ciarraighe 

of Mount Luachair, in the territory of 
O'Conor Kerrj% This district is pro- 
bably here intended, not only because 
the name occurs without any other 
designation, but also because the places 
mentioned as having been plundered, 
were all easily reached from the 
county of Keny. 

* cm Ita : now Killeedy, four Irish 
miles from Newcastle, co. of Limerick, 
the site of a once famous monastery, 
dedicated to St. Ita, in the spot called 
CluaLn Creadhail, Mart. JJoneg.., 15 
Jan., p. 17. The other places men- 
tioned are Imleach Ibhair, now Emly ; 
Caisil of the Kings, now Cashel; the 
eastern Cechtraighe ; and Liath Mo- 
coemhoc, of which we have already 
spoken; (see p. lix. note i). Ceth- 
traighe (Cechtraighe, L.) is the name 
of a tribe now unknown. Perhaps we 
should read Ciarraighe. 



the Irish 
over the 

Chronology Our autlior adds, " It was in the time' of Feidhlimidh, 
el' n^^ ^^^ ^^ Crinatliann, that all these ravages were perpetrated." 
This remark, although it occurs in the ancient fragment 
of the present work preserved in the Book of Leinster, 
is probably misplaced. The Annals date the death of 
Feidhlimidh 847 ; and the arrival of the Danes, or the 
battle of Carlingford, 852, five years afterwards. There- 
fore we must infer either that the above chronological 
note ought to have been placed before the coming of the 
Danish ships, or else that the date assigned by the Annals 
to Feidhlimidh's death is erroneous.^ 
Victories of Haviiio- hitherto spoken of the ravages committed by 
the invaders, om^ author (chaps, xxi. xxii.) next gives a 
list of the defeats they had sustained from the native 
Irish : and here it is evident that he makes no distinction 
between the Danes and other foreigners ; neither can we 
regard his narrative as containing a complete enumera- 
tion of these defeats, for many, of which he takes no 
notice, are recorded in the Irish Annals. At Eas-Ruaidh,^ 
now Assaroe, near Ballyshannon, county of Donegal, they 
were defeated by the Cinel-ConaiU, the descendants of 
Conall Gulban (son of Niall, of the Nine Hostages), the 
orio-inal possessors of the district now called, from them, 
Tirconnell. This victory is dated^ 838. In Munster they 
were defeated at Loch Derg Dheirc, now Lough Derg, by 
the Dal Cais.^ The TJi Neill, that is, the southern O'Neill, 
defeated them at Ard Brecain, now Ardbraccan, county of 
Meath. Earl Saxulf ° was slain by the O'Colgain ; but 
the Four Masters and Annals of Ulster caU him " Chief- 

1 Time. The word laemi^p in the text, 
p. 20, has been translated "reign;" 
but its more literal signification is 
time, period. 

'^Erroneous. See above, p. xlvi., 
note 1, where it is suggested, on other 
grounds, that the date assigned to 
Feidhlimidh's death by our Annals is 
really the date of his monastic pro- 

3 Eas Ruaidh : properly Eas Aedha 

Ruaidh, the waterfall of Aedh the red. 
See Four 3Iast., A.M. 4518. 

* Dated. Tour Mast. 836, =A.D. 

5 Dal Cais, pron. Dal Cash, the de- 
scendants of Cas Mac Tail. See Gen. 
Table III., No. 8, p. 2i7, and O'Flah. 
Offi/ff; p. 386. This victory is not 
recorded in the Annals. 

6 Earl Saxulf. The ancient MS. 
L. reads " Earl Ralph." 



tain of the Gaill," and tell us that he was slain by the 
Cianachta, meaning the Cianachta Bregh, a tribe^ de- 
scended from Cian, son of Oilioll Olum, king of Munster, 
and seated in Bregia, north of Dublin, where they occu- 
pied a district extending from the baronies of Upper and 
Lower Duleek to the Liffey. The death of Saxnlf is dated 
by the Annalists^ in the fifth year of Niall Cailne, or 838. 

The next defeat mentioned is the battle of Sciath Battle of 
Nechtain, after an interval of ten years'^ from the death S^iatii 
of Saxulf The leaders of the Irish forces were Olchobhar, 
king of Munster, and Lorcan, son of Cellach, king of 
Leinster. In this battle ] ,200 of the Lochlainn chieftains 
or nobles were slain, together with the heir apparent or 
tanist, that is {second, or next in succession to the throne,) 
of the king of Lochlainn. The Four Masters tell us that 
this chieftain's name was Tomrair,"* which in other 

1 A tribe. See O'Flalierty, Ogi/ff. p. 
332. The Ui Colgan, or O'Colgan, seem 
to have been a branch of the Cianachta 
seated on the banks of the Liffey. 
There is, tlierefore, no contradiction. 

•i Annalists. Ann. Ult. and Four 
M. 836, =838. The Dublin Annals 
of Inisfallen record the event thus : 
" 837. Six score men of the Loch- 
lanus were killed by the men of Bregia, 
and their chief, Saxulf, was slain by 
Cinaodh, son of Conall, and by the 
Connaughtmen." This should be Cin- 
aodh, son of Conaing, who was chieftain 
of the Cianachta Breagh at the time. 
The mention of Connaughtmen seems a 
mistake of the compilersof these Annals. 
For Conackta we should read Cianachta. 

3 Ten years. In the second year of 
Maelseachlainn I. Four M.SiG; Ult. 
847, =848. Sciath Nechtain (Scutum 
Nechtani) was a place near Castle- 
dermot, county of Kildare. 

^ Tomrair. The name Tomrair is, 
perhaps, the Scandinavian Thormodr 
[Thor's man,] which was a common 
name in Iceland. The Tomrair or 
Tomar here mentioned is spoken of 
as a Norwegian. But a Danish chief- 

tain of the same name afterwards be- 
came celebrated at Dublin, and indeed 
Tomar or Thormodr seems to have 
become a sort of common title given by 
the Irish to all the kings of Dublin, 
who are called " chieftains of Tomar," 
Booh of Rights, p. 40; the king of 
Dublin is called "Tore Tomar," i.e. 
"Prince Tomar," ib. p. 207. In Dr. 
O'Donovan's Introd. to B. of Rights, p. 
xxxvi. seq., and Four M., A.D. 846, p. 
475, n., we read of the ring of Tomar 
and the sword of Carlus [son of Amlaff, 
Four M. 866,] which were carried off 
from Dublin by King Malachy II., in 
994 (Four M.) The ring was, no 
doubt, one of those deemed sacred bv 
the Northmen, and upon which oaths 
were sworn — Anglo Sax. Chron., A.D. 
876. It is possible (as iilr. Haliday 
has suggested) that the splendid gold 
ring, with a smaller one running 
upon it, now in the Museum of the 
Royal Irish Academy, is the identical 
ring of Tomar — the "holy ring" of the 
Scandinavian kings of Dublin. There 
was a wood, called Tomar's wood, be- 
tween Clontarf and Dublin. See pp. 
197, 199, of the present volume. 





authorities is also written Tomhrar, Tomhar, or Temar, 
King Olchobliar soon afterwards demolished Tulach-na- 
riffhna, ' which seems to have been a fortress or settlement 
of the enemy, and they were all ultimately cut off by the 
men of Leth Mogha, or of Munster. 

The other victories recorded may be more briefly noticed. 
They are, the battle of Caislen-giinni or Caisglinne,^ under 
Maelsechlainn, king of Ireland, in which 700 were slain. 
The battle of Dah-e-Disiurt-Dachomia,^ by Tighernach, lord 
of Loch Gabhair,* when 500 of the enemy fell. The battle 
of Dun-Maeltuli, in which their loss was twelve score, 
under Olchobliar, king of Munster, and the Eoghanachts^ 
of Cashel. Three hundred and sixty-eight of the Danes, 
it is not said where, were slain by the White Gentiles or 
Norwegians.^ Perhaps this may have been the result of 
the conflict between the seven score ships of the Danes 
that arrived about this time, " to contend with the 

1 Tulacli-na-Righna. Tiúach-na- 
reena, "hill of the Queens;" a place 
not now known, unless it be the hill 
now called Knocknaree, near Castle- 

2 Caisglinne. So read the MS. B., 
and Keating. Compare also Battle 
of Mayh-rath, p. 349. Caislen-glinne 
signifies Glen-Castle ; there are several 
places of the name : this one was prob- 
ably somewhere in Meath, within the 
territory of the Clann Colmain. Per- 
haps this is the same battle which the 
Pour M., 846, and Ann. Ult., 847, 
mention as having been fought at 
Forach, (now Farragh, near Skreen, 
county of Meath,) in which 700 were 
slain. See O'Donovan's note, Four 
M., I. c. 

* Daire-Dismrt-Dachonna. The 
oak wood of Disiurt-Dachonna, the 
wilderness of St. Dachonna, or St. 
Conna. This place was in Ulster 
(^Mart. Doneg., 12 April, p. 101), but 
Dr. O'Donovan had not identified it. 
Four M., 846, note. 

* Loch Gahhair. Now Lough Gower 
or Logore, near Dunshaughlin, county 
of Meath. The Four M. say that 
twelve score fell in this battle, which 
is also the reading of B. The Ann. 
Ult. read 1200. The numbers of 
slain in this and the next battle have 
evidently been transposed. See the 
various readings, p. 21, notes. 

5 Eoghanachts. See Table IV., p. 
248, Dmi Maeltuli, "the fort of Mael- 
tuli" is probably in the coiuity of 
Tipperary, but its exact site is now 

^Norwegians. B. reads "by the 
Ui Fidhghente," a tribe settled in the 
county of Limerick; (see Gen. Table 
v., p. 248, No. 6, and Book of Eights, 
p. 67, ».) But this reading is not pro- 
bable, although Keating follows it, 
Ui-proseiice and pin-o gence might 
easily be confounded. There are also 
considerable variations in the MSS. as 
to the number of the slain. See ch. 
xxii., p. 21, n. 14. 




foreigners that were in Ireland before them," and as the 
Four Masters and Ulster Ann uls tell us " disturbed Ire- 
land between them."^ At Inis-Finmic, now Inch, near 
Balrothery, county of Dublin, 200 were slain by the 
Cianachta, meaning evidently the Cianachta Breagh, in 
whose territory Inch was situated. The same tribe, in 
a month afterwards, gained another victory, in which 
they slew 300 of the enemy at Rath-Alton, or Rath- 
Aldain, now Rathallan, near Duleek, in the same territory.^ 
This catalogue of \ictories is concluded by the battle of 
Rathcommah-^ gained by King Maelseachlinn, and 
another gained by the Ciarriaghe Luachra, or people of 
Kerry, the exact site of which is not recorded. 

The coming of Amlaibh, (Amlaff or Olaf,) " son of the Arrival of 
king of Lochlainn," is the next event chronicled by our okf*^^ "^ 
author. The arrival of this chieftain is dated ten years 
hefove'^ the death of Maelseachlainii or Malachy I., kino- 
of Ireland, and therefore in the year 853. 

This was, beyond all doubt, the Amlaif, or Olaf Huita 

1 Between them. Four M., 8i7. 
Ann. Ult., 848, reaUy 849. 

2 Territwy. The Four Masters 
make no mention of Inis-iinmic, but 
record a slaughter of the foreigners in 
the East of Breagh, and in the same 
month, the battle of Rath-Aldain, at 
850 [=852]. Of the Cianachta Breagh 
we have already spoken, see p. Ixvii. 

3 Eathcommair . The word Com- 
mar or Cumar signifies the meeting of 
two or more rivers ; and the Eathcom- 
mair here mentioned was probably a 
Fort at the confluence of the Boyne 
with some four or five small rivers at 
Cluain-Iraird, now Clonard, county of 
Meath. There is a Cumar-tri-nuisce 
(meeting of tliree waters) near Water- 
ford (Four M., at 856) ; but it is more 
likely that the battle gained by Mael- 
sechlainn was in his own territory. 

* Before. In the text (chap, sxiii.) 
we have translated " ten years after'" 

the death of Malachy : but the annals, 
Keating, and other authorities all seem 
to have read, or at least to have un- 
derstood, as in the MS. L., ^.e tiec, 
before the death of Malachy, instead of 
a^a nee, the reading of B. after his 
death. It is probable that a|i, in our 
author's dialect of Irish really did 
signify before. If so, the Editor in 
translating it after (assuming ccp, to 
have been put for iai\), was under a 
mistake. See note f', p. 22. The 
Four Mast, date King Malachy's death 
860, but as they tell us that he died 
on Tuesday, Xov. 30, the Sunday letter 
of the year must have been C, which 
shows that the trul year was 863. 

If we adhere to the translation 
after, Olaf did not arrive untU 873, 
and his exploits are dated in our 
annals twenty years too soon. This 
no doubt would diminish some chi-ono- 
logical difiiculties. 





(the white), of Scandinavian history, who was usually 
styled king of Dublin,^ and was the leader of the North- 
men in Ireland for many years. His exploits on his first 
arrival in Ireland are thus described :^ The di'owning of 
Conchobhar,^ son of Donnchadh. The overthrow of the 
Deisi at Cluain-Daimh,* where all tlie chieftains of the 
Deisi were slain. The slaughter of the son of Cenn- 

1 Dublin. The Landnamabok (p. 
106), gives the following account of 
this chieftain : " Olaf the White 
[Oleifr hinn Hvite] was the Pirate- 
King [Herkongr] who was the son of 
King Ingialld, son of Helga, son of 
Olaf, son of Gudraud, son of Halfdan 
Whitefoot [Hvitbein], King of Up- 
land. Olaf the White went as a 
pirate westwards, and seized Dublin 
in Ireland, and the Dublin-shire [oc 
vann Dyflina á Irlandi oc Dyflinnar- 
skiri] where he was made King." The 
name is written Amhlaihh, Anlaff, 
Onlaf, Olaf or Olave, Awley, Auliff. 
Thora, grandmother of Olaf the 
White, was the daughter of Sigurd 
Orni i augr [serpent eye], son of Reg- 
nar Lodbrok. The polygamy of the 
pagan Scandinavians, their very early 
marriages, and the early age at which 
they went forth to seek their fortunes 
in piratical adventures, may have 
reduced the length of a generation. 
But the reduction should be consider- 
able to render it possible, assuming 
Lodbrok to have been slain in 845, 
for his sou's great-grandson to be the 
leader of a piratical invasion of Ire- 
land in 853. Supposing the average 
generation to be 20 years, Regnar Lod- 
brok would have been 80 years of age 
at the birth of Olaf the White. 

2 Described. Chap, xxiii., p. 23. 

3 Conchobhair. He is called in the 
text "heir apparent of Tara," mean- 
ing not heir apparent to the throne of 
Ireland, but only to the cliieftainship 
of the Clann Colniain, or of East 

Meath. The Four Mast. (862=864) 
call him "the second lord that was 
over Meath;" and the Annals of 
Ulster (863 = 864) "half King of 
Meath." This alludes to the parti- 
tion of Meath into two kingdoms by 
Aedh Oirnidlie in 802 (797 of the Four 
M.), to which Conchobhar, son of 
Donnchadh (afterwards King of Ire- 
land) and his brother Ailill were 
appointed. King Aedh's object evi- 
dently was to strengthen himself by 
weakening the power of the Clann 
Colmain in Meath. At the time here 
spoken of, Lorcan, son of Cathal, was 
lord of one half of Meath, and Con- 
chobhar of the other. Lorcan was 
blinded by Aedh Finniiath, still jealous 
of the Meath chieftains, and Con- 
chobhar was drowned, as the Four 
M. tell ixs, at Cluain-Iraird (now 
Clonard) by Amlaff, lord of the Gaill. 
This Conchobhar was probably a 
grandson of King Conchobhar. He 
is called " son of Donnchadh '' in the 
text, and also by the Four M., the 
Ann. of Ult., and the Brussell's Frag- 
ments (p. 157), as well as by Keating 
(reign of Aedh Finniiath). We must, 
therefore, reject the reading of 
O'Clery's MS. of the present work» 
where he is called "Sou of Cineadh." 
See Gen. Table II., p. 246. 

* Cluain-Daimh. This place is now 
unknown. The word signifies " Plain 
or Lawn of the Deer or Oxen." The 
Deisi Bregh, whose territory is repre- 
sented by the two baronies of Deece, 
county of Meath, are probably intended . 



faeladh,' king of Muscraighe Breoghain, and the smother- 
ing of Muchdaighren, son of Rechtabrat, in a cave. The 
destruction of Caitill Find,^ (KetiU the White) and his 
whole garrison. This latter chieftain, judging by his 
name, was probably a Norseman ; but some authorities call 
him Cathal ; and we learn from the Annals of Ulster that 
his followers were the Gaill-Gaedliil, or apostate "Irish. We 
are told also that the battle was in the districts of Munster ; 
but no other clue is given to the position of the fortress 
of Gaill-Gaedhil to which this garrison belonged, which is 
not noticed in the Four Masters. His " destruction" in 
the Ulster Annals is dated 856, equivalent to 8.57. 

The death of Maelgualai, son of Dungaile, king of Death of 
Munster, his back being broken by a stone, is the next Maelgualai, 
exploit of the Danes recorded by our author. Its date^ Munster. 
is 859. The next clause is obscuj-e — " they were all killed 
by the men of Munster :" this seems to mean that the 
men of Munster, in other words the army of the kino- 
of Munster, notwithstanding the loss of its sovereign, 
gained a complete victory over the enemy ; but are Ona, 
Scolph, and Tomar (see p. 23), the chieftains whose troops 
were cut off? Or are they Scandinavian leaders fio-htino- on 

1 Cennfaeladh. This passage is so 
corrupt that it is difficult to guess at 
the original reading, especially as the 
Annals make no mention of these 
events. The son of Cennfaeladh is 
not named. See the various readings, 
note ^, p. 22 . For an account of the 
districts called Musc-raighe or Mus- 
kerrj', see O'Donovan, Book of Rights, 
p. 42, n. O'FlaUHy, Ogyg., p. 322. 
Muscraighe Breoghain was a part of 
the present barony of ClanwLUiam, 
county of Tipperary. 

2 Caitill Find. Ware calls him 
Cathaldus albus; Antiq. p. 128, Ed. 
2da., and Cathal Finn is the reading 
of B. That name would be Irish ; 
or an Irish spelling of the Xorse name 
Ketill. The Dublin Ann. of Inisfallen 

(857) call him Cartan, or Carthan 
Finn, a name which looks like the 
Scandinavian Kiar-tan. Dr. O'Conor 
{Ann. mt.), although his text reads 
Caitfil Jind, translates " de Cathaldo 
albo." In his edition of the Dublin 
Ann. Inisf. he omits the years 856, 
857, 859, and part of 8G0. Mr. 
Robertson has suggested that the 
Caitill Finn here mentioned may 
have been the KetiU Flatnef (Flat- 
nose), of Scandinavian history, Scot- 
land under her early Kings, p. 44. But 
CaitiU Finn is said by our author to 
have been killed on this occasion, 857, 
a fact that cannot be reconcUed with 
the history of KetiU Flatnose. 

3 Date. Four M., 857. Ult, 858 
really, 859. 

Oisill or 



the side of the Munster army, and therefore sharers in 
the victory^ ? The fragment of this work in the Book of 
Leinster adds the name of Tiu'gesius to the other three — 
which, if it be not a mistake, must intend a different 
Turgesius from the celebrated usurper of the See of Ar- 
magh. The whole of this passage, however, is evidently 

Arrival of We read next of the arrival of a chieftain^ whose name 
in MSS. of the present work is written Ossill, and Oisli, 
the true Scandinavian name having perhaps been Ossur, 
or possibly Flosi, as other spellings of the name such as 
Uailsi or Vailsi, lead us to conjecture. He is styled by 
our author " son of the king of Lochlann," but he can 
scarcely be the same as the chieftain whose exploits, 
under the name of Auisli or Uailsi, are narrated by the 
Annals of Ulster and the Four Masters. For the Ossill 
of our author is represented as having fallen in a battle 
with the Irish in Munster, whereas the Uailsi of the 
Annals was slain by his own brethren.^ 

His defeat OssiU, we are told, succeeded in plundering "the greater 
part of Ireland." How long a time this occupied is not 
recorded ; but his army was cut off with a loss of five hun- 
dred men,^ and he himself slain " by the men of Erinn" in 
Munster. Some MSS. attribute this victory to the "men 

1 Victory. The reading of L. (see j and Ivar) dolo et paiTÍeidio a fratribus 
note 8, p. 23) favours the former of snis jugulatus est," Ult. 866. From 
these interpretations. this hint the Bnissels Annals make 

2 Corrupt. B. omits the names of Amlaff, Imhar, and Oisle to be three 

and death. 

the Scandinavian leaders altogether: 
and the words of the text, ceoyia yc, 
" one hundred and three," are obscure. 
The contraction, 7c., " et cetera," was 
probably mistaken for "et c." i.e. 
"and one hvmdred," and ceoifia, 
" three," was made Turgeis. 

3 Chieftain. Cliap. xxiv. See note 
10, p. 23. 

* Brethren. "Auisle tertius rex 
gentilium (the otlier two being Olaf 

brothers, and give a minute account 
of the murder of the last. Fragments 
of Annals, p. 171. In another place 
(see p. 33) our author records the 
murder by Amlaibh, of his own 
brother, who is there called Osill. 
There appear, therefore, to have been 
two of the name. 

* Five hundred men. The IMS. L. 
omits the number of slain. 



of Munster," instead of to the men of Erinn, the distinc- 
tion being that the former phrase denotes the clansmen 
or troops under the command of the provincial king of 
Mimster, and the latter the troops of the Ard-Ri, or chief 
king of Ireland. 

Although our author in this place has given us no Destruc- 
means of ascertaining the exact date of this event, which ^'T ?!. 

o ^ ' Colphinn 

is not noticed in the Annals, he assumes it to be well at Kin- 
known, and goes on to tell us that in the same year gg^' ' ' 
another chieftain, whom he calls Colphinn,' with the fleet 
of Dun-Medhoin, was destroyed at Cenn Curraig. The 
Irish pursued them, with slaughter,^ fi'om Cenn Curraig 
to Lismore, and many of them were killed by Kechtabrat,^ 
son of Bran, chieftain of the Deisi, whose territory is repre- 
sented by the districts now called Decies, in the county 
of Waterford. A reference to this victory in another place 
(see ch. xxix.) enables us to assign it to the year 869. 

The Earl BaethbaiT or Badbarr (probably Bodvar), who Death of 
escaped from this slaughter with many followers, reached ^^ j^^^^^ 
Dublin in safety, but was there soon afterwards drowned, and Tomar. 
" through the miracles of Ciaran and Aedh Scannail,"'* 
whose monasteries or religious houses he had besieged. 
No notice of this chieftain occurs in the Annals. In the 
same year^ Earl Tomar was killed, and his death is attri- 

^ Colphinn. Not mentioned in the 
Annals. The true name was probably 
Kolhein. Dunmedhon (Middle-fort) 
is now unknown. Cenn Curraig, now 
Kincurry, is a small village on the 
banks of the Suir, not far from Clon- 
mel, but in the county of Waterford. 

2 Slaughter. The literal transla- 
tion is "They were in their being 
slaughtered from Cenn Curraig to 

3 Rechtahrat. The death of this 
chieftain is recorded by the Four M. 
at 874=876. 

* Scannail. Ciaran was, of course, 
the celebrated St. Kiaran of Clonmac- 
nois: but no saint named Aedh Scan- 

nail is mentioned in the Mart\Tology 
of Donegal, or elsewhere so far as the 
Editor knows. The MS. B. reads 
" Ciaran and Aedh and Sgandall." 
If we follow this reading the churches 
intended are probably those of St. 
Kieran, of Clonmacnois ; of St. Aedh, 
or Moedhog [Mogue] of Ferns; and 
of St. Scannail of Aghaboe, who died 
774 (=780) Four M. 

5 Same year. It is difficult to give 
much weight to these chronological 
notes : for in this case Tomar or Tom- 
rair is said by the Four Masters to 
have been slain in the battle of Sciath 
Nechtam, A.D, 847. See p. 21, and 
p. Ixvii. above. 




Battle of 



with the 
to Kerry, 

Emly and 


buted to the vengeance of St. Brendan, whose church at 
Clonfert he had plundered three days before. 

"In that year" also, our author says, the victory of 
Aedh Finnliath, king of Ireland, was gained over the 
Danes at Lough Foyle : but this battle is dated by the 
Four Masters 804-, which is 867 of O'Flaherty's corrected 
Chronology, and therefore not the year to which the 
same Annalists have assigned the battle of Sciath Nech- 

We next read of a Scandinavian chieftain named Baraid 
or Barith, (possibly iíárcZr), who, "with Amlaibh's son, 
and the fleet of Ath-Cliath," meaning the Scandinavian 
garrison of Dublin, plundered Leinster and Munster until 
they reached CiaiTaighe, the present county of Kerry.' 
" And they left not," says our author, " a cave under ground 
that they did not explore ; and they left nothing from 
Limerick to Cork that they did not ravage." The Annals^ 
speak of a plundering of the caves in the territory^ of 
Flann, son of Conang, king of Bregia in Meath, under 
" the three cliieftains of the foreigners," Amlaibh, Imhar, 
and Uisli, with Lorcan, son of Cathal, king of Meath. 
But our author here speaks of the plunder of the sepul- 
chral caves by the army under the command of Baraid and 
Amlaibh's son,^ in their expedition from Leinster to Kerry 
and from Limerick to Cork ; we may therefore infer that 
these caves contained treasures of gold and silver buried 
with the dead, of which the Northmen had discovered 
the intrinsic value, and therefore made it a practice to • 
plunder such monuments wherever they found them. 

On this expedition the ecclesiastical establishment of 
Imleach Ibhair (now Emly) was burned, and the southern 
Deisi, now Decies in the county of Waterford, ravaged. 

1 Kerry. Ch. xxv.,p. 25. So the 
MS. B. interprets, by reading Ciar- 
raic/he Luachra. See above, p. Ixv., n. 

^Annals. Ult., 862. Four M., 861. 

s Territory. Sec Dr. O'Donovan's 
note, Four Mast. 861, p. 496. 

* Amlaibh's son. He is not named. 
Perhaps he may have been Thorsteiu 
the Red, son of Olaf the White. The 
death of Carlus, who is called son of 
Amlaibh. is recorded by the Four M. 
at 866=868. 



Two years before,' the same party had plundered Meath 
and Connaught, as far as Corcumruadh, (now Corcomroe, 
county of Clare,) and Leim ConcuUain,^ or Loophead : but 
they were ultimately killed by " the men of Erinn." 

The foreigners, under the command of Ragnall's son,^ The 
were slaughtered by Aedh Finnliath, king of Ireland, at a slaughtered 
banquet given to their chieftain at Dublin. This seems to ^' ^,*!^^ 
imply that treachery was employed : but, on this occasion, 
Ragnall's son escaped, for he was slain, as our author tells 
us (p. 27), in a battle which took place soon afterwai'ds 
between the Fair Gentiles and the Black Gentiles, the 
former being apparently imder the command of Barith, 
who was wounded in the engagement, and is probably the 
same who was called Baraid just before. The MS. L. adds 
that Barith was lame ever after from this wound, and 
that the Black Gentiles " after this," meaning apparently The Black 
in consequence of Barith's factory, were driven out of i^?°''^^* ^ 
Ii-eland, and went to Alba, or Scotland, where they gained in Scot- ° 
a battle over the men of Alba, in which Constantino, son ífil^' ^'^' 


of Cinaedh, or Kenneth, was slain, and many others with 
him. This event mast be dated^ A.D. 877. The editor 

1 Before. This chronological note 
is omitted in the Book of Leinster. 

2 Leim Conchullain. "The Leap of 
Cuchullan." The modem name Loop- 
head, is a corruption of Leap-head. It 
is called Júlduhlaup, " mare's leap," in 
the Landnamabok, p. 5, 

s RagnaWs son. Sigurd-Serpent-eye 
is called Ragnvald, or Regnald, on the 
authority of Eegn. Lodbr. Saga, Lan- 
gebek II., p. 272, n. f, and by Saxo 
Grammaticus (lib. ix., p. 450), who 
mentions Regnald, Witserc [or Hvit- 
serk] and Eric, as the three sons of 
Eegnar Lodbrok by Suanloag [same 
as Asloga] dr. of Sigurd Fofnisban. 
Langebek, however {loc. cit.), seems 
to have been of opinion that Regnald 
is to be distinguished from Sigurd, 
who, he says, was the fifth and young- 

est of Ragnar Lodbrok's sons by As- 
loga — " Itaque Sigurdus Anguioculus 
quintus fuit filius, et ceteris fratribus 
junior." See p. Ivi., supra., n. *. 

i Dated. Ann Ult.876j O'FIahertj', 
Ogyg., p. 485. Robertson's Scotland 
under her early Kings, I. p. 48, n. The 
Ann. Ult. have the following record 
of this battle under their year 874, 
" Congressio Pictonim fri Duhgalla 
et strages magna Pictorum facta est. 
Oistin mac Amlaiph regis Xorddman- 
norum ab Albann per dolum occisus 
est." " A battle of the Picts with the 
black foreigners, and a great slaughter 
was made of the Picts. Oistin [Eys- 
tein or Thorstein], son of Amlaf, king 
of the Northmen, was treacherously 
killed by the men of Alba." In the 
next year we read " Constantinus mac 




The forty 
vears' rest, 
(A.D. 875 
to 915, 

has not found elsewhere any notice of the miraculous 
bursting open of the earth under the men of Alba, which 
is said to have occurred on this occasion. 

A period of " rest to the men of Erinn," we are told/ 
followed this expulsion of the invaders, and their victory 
in Scotland. For upwards of forty years, counted back 
from the year before the death of Flann Sionna,^ king of 
Ireland, and the accession of his successor, Niall Glundubh, 
the country is said to have remained "without ravage from 
the foreigners ;" and the annals undoubtedly support this 
assertion. Dm-ing this period of forty years we read of no 
new arrivals of the Scandinavian invaders. The settlements 
already made in Ireland at Dublin, Limerick, Lough Foyle, 
and elsewhere, continued ; churches were occasionally^ 

Cinaedha, rex Pictorum [moritur] :" 
which seems as if the Annalist did 
not suppose him to have fallen in the 
battle. The Chron. Pictorum (^Piiik- 
ertoris Enquiry, I. p. 495,) makes 
Constantine the victor, and says that 
Amlaibh (read son of Amlaibh ?) was 
slain. The Landnamabok, p. 107, 
tells us distinctly that Olaf the White 
was slain in Ireland ; but the date of 
his death is not recorded in the Annals. 
1 Told. See ch. xxvi., p. 27. 
^ Flann Sionna. The Annals have 
recorded that Flann Sionna died on 
Saturday, the 8th of the Kalends of 
June, A.D. 916. Calculating, there- 
fore, forty years from the year before, 
we have A.D. 875 as the commence- 
ment of the forty year's rest. 

3 Occasionally. A few instances may 
be mentioned, from the Four Mast. 
In 883 [886] Kildare was plundered by 
the foreigners, who carried off to their 
ships fourteen score men with the prior 
Suibhne and valuable property. In 
885 [888] the abbot and prior of 
Cluain-Uamha (Cloyne) were slain by 
the Northmen. In the same year 
King Flann was defeated by the Gaill 

of Dublin, and the bishop of Kildare 
with others slain. In 886 [889] Ard- 
Breccan, Domnach-Patraic, Tuilen, 
and Glendaloch were plundered by the 
Gaill. In 887 [890] Kildare and 
Clonard were plundered, and there was 
a slaughter of the foreigners by the 
Hi Amhalgaidh (the men of Tirawley), 
in which Elair [Hilary], son of Baraid, 
was slain. In 888 [891] a battle was 
gained by Eiagan, son of Dunghal, 
over the Gaill of Port Lairge (Water- 
ford), Loch Carman (Wexford), and 
Teach Moling, in which 200 foreigners 
were slain. In 890 [893] Armagh was 
plundered by the Gaill of Dublin, under 
the command of Gluniarain (comp. 
Ann. Ult. 898). In the following 
year Flannagan, lord of Breagh, was 
slain by the Northmen, and a battle 
gained by the ConaiUi, in which were 
slain Amlapli, grandson of Ivar, and 
Gluntradhna, son of Gluniarain, with 
800 of their men. These examples 
will suffice to show that the forty 
years' rest recorded by our author was 
a rest from fresh invasions only, and 
is not to be understood as implying 
an entire cessation of hostilities. 



plundered, and there were conflicts now and then between 
the foreigners and the native chieftains. But during the 
whole reign of Flann Sionna, son of Maelseachlainn, there 
appears to have been no new arrival of a foreign fleet, no 
invasion properly so called ; and the outrages recorded are 
all of the nature of those minor feuds which were con- 
tinually going on between the native tribes and chieftains 
themselves. It was not until 91 3 (916), and again in 915 New fleets 
(918), the year before the accession of Niall Glundubh, foj.r'A d' 
that the anival of new fleets in Loch-da-Caech, the har- 916. 
bour of Waterford, is mentioned,^ after which numerous 
reinforcements continued to pour in. There had been a 
settlement at Waterford before, for which reason that 
harbour appears to have been chosen as the head-quarters 
of the new comers. Haconn, or Hakon, and Cossa-Narra 
are said to have been the leaders of the expedition that 
aiTÍved just before the death of Flann Sionna. The names 
of these chieftains are not mentioned in the Annals, nor 
in any other authority known to the editor. They appear 
to have commenced at once the subjugation of Mimster, 
but were defeated in three or four battles in Kerry^ and 
in Tipperary. The Northmen of Limerick seem to have 
come to their assistance, but were defeated by the men of 
Connaught, and again by the men of Kerry and Corcobhais- 
cinn at the river Lemain, now the Laune near Killarney. 

Next came a "prodigious royal fleet" of the Clanu The Clann 


Keating speaks of a state of peace 
and prosperity, wliich he attributes to 
the wise rule of the celebrated Cormac 
Mac CuUlenain, king of Munater and 
bishop of Cashel (p. 519, O'Mahony's 
Transl.^ But as Cormac reigned for 
seven years only, his reign can only be 
taken as a very small part of the forty 
years' rest, and other causes must 
have been at work to extend " the 
rest " for so long a period to the whole 
of Ireland. 

i Mentioned. Ann. Ult. 912,913. 

Four M. 910, 912, 913 (really 913, 
915, 916). See also Fragments of 
Annals, p. 245. 

2 Kerry. The battle in Kerry is re- 
corded by the Four M. at their year 
915=A.D. 916, the first year of Niall 
Glundubh. The names of Thomas of 
Cinn Crede, Rolt Pudarill, or Eolt and 
PudraU, and Muraill or Smurall, men- 
tioned in the text, do not occur else- 
where, and are probably corrapt. See 
the notes pp. 27, 28. 



History of 
the Danes 
of Dublin. 

Imhar, or childi'en of Ivar, to Dublin (chap, xxvii.), and 
plundered the greater part of Ireland. But what follows 
in the text gives birth to considerable chronological diffi- 
culties, and is inconsistent with the limits already 
assigned by our author to the forty years' rest. It is 
evident that the remainder of this chapter is misplaced and 
belongs to an earlier period. The defeat of Flann Sionna 
by the Danes of Dublin, in the battle wherein fell Aedh, 
son of Conchobhair, king of Connaught, Lergiis, son of 
Cronecan, bishop of Kildare, and Donnchadh, son of Mael- 
duin, abbot of Delga or Kildalky, is dated by the Four 
Masters, 885 (= 888) ; and the other events mentioned 
are all grouped round ^ that year. They are, in fact, the 
exploits of an earlier party of the clann Ivar, who had 
settled in Dublin and were in alliance with Cearbhall, 
son of Dunghal, chieftain of Ossory, and king of Dublin. 
To make this clear it will be necessary to call to mind 
some particulars of the history of the Danes of Dublin. 
That fortress seems to have been originally founded^ as a 
trading and military station by the " White Gentiles," 
who had established themselves in Ireland before the 
coming of the " Black Gentiles," or Danes. The arrival 
of these latter invaders is dated 851. Their chieftain 
Olaf [the White] came, we are told, to levy rents and 
tributes,^ but finding opposition from the Scandina- 

1 Grouped round. It has already 
been suggested that there must be 
some corruption in the words " the 
year in which MaelsechlaLnn was 
killed," and that the year in which 
Maelfebhail, daughter of Maelsech- 
lainn, died (Four M. 884=887) may 
have been intended (see note, p. 233). 
The plimder of Cluain Uamha [Cloyne] 
and the death of its bishop-abbot 
Fergal, son of Finachta, and its prior 
Uanan or Uamanan, is dated 885= 
888 (Four M.) The death of Donn- 
chadh, son of Dubhdaboirenn, king of 
Munster, is also placed by the Four 

M. in the same year (they do not say 
that he was killed) ; but they make 
no mention of the death of Sitric, or 
the burning of Lismore by the son of 

2 Founded. See p. Ixii. The Four 
Masters record the first taking of Dub- 
lin or Athcliath at 836 (838) ; and the 
erection of the fortress (lonjpoific) 
there 840 (842). 

3 Tributes. Fragments of Annals, 
p. 125, 127. The Four Masters men- 
tion the fii-st coming of the Dubhgall 
to Dublin, at 849 (851); and the first 
coming of Olaf, 851 (=853). 



vians already in possession of the country, he left sud- 
denly, probably to seek reinforcements. In 8.56 he re- 
turned to Ireland, and received the submission of all the 
foreign tribes.^ At this time he probably obtained pos- 
session of Dublin, and is said to have been joined by "his 
younger brother, Ivar," who seems to have followed him 
on this occasion, or to have accompanied"' him at his first 
coming to Ireland. 

There was however another Ivar, the leader of a more Arrival of 
considerable party, who, about four years later, invaded ^Y'^'"' ^'"S 

of North- 

East Angiia, where he was met by AmlafF, from Scotland, umbria. 
This was most probably Ivar Beinlaus,^ son of Eegnar 
Lodbrok, who is called by the Ulster Annals* "EexNord- 
mannorum totius Hibernian et Britannife." He was the 
same Ivar who became king of Northumbria, and was 
the founder^ of the Scandinavian dynasty in that country, 
which was afterwards so closely connected with the 
Danish kings of Dublin. He appears to have arrived at 
the time when Amlaf, or Olaf the White, with Auisle [or 
Flosius] was in Pictland, with all the Gaill of Ireland and 
Scotland, where they " plundered all Pictland, and took 
Hostages."^ In this year (866), says Ethelwerd,'^ the only 

1 Tribes, Fragments of Annals, 
A.D. 856, p. 135. 

2 AccomjMiiied. See Fragments of 
Annals, p. 127. The Sagas, however, 
do not seem to have recorded any 
Ivar, brother of Olaf the White. It is 
possible that what is here said of his 
younger brother Ivar is a mistake, and 
that Ivar Beinlaus is intended. He is 
not called the brother of Olaf by the 
Ann. Ult. or by the Four M. There is 
confusion between the names luguar, 
Igwar, Imar, Ivar, Ifar, in the English 
as well as in the Irish Chronicles. 

3 Beinlaus. Or the Boneless. 

< Aimals. Ult. 872 (=873) which 
was the year of his death. Aunal. 
Island, p. 5. 

5 Founder. In Olof's Tryggvasonars 

Saga (c. 64, p. 117), Kaupmanna. 1825, 
(Fornmauna Sogur,vol. 1.), we are told 
that Ivar Beinlaus had no children, 
and was incapable of having any. 
But this, perhaps, signifies only that 
he had gone to England, and having 
never returned, there was no record 
of his children in the Scandinavian 
Chronicles. Thorkelin, Fragments of 
Engl, and Irish Hist. {Nordymra, p. 
26), mentions Inguar and Husta, two 
sons of Ivar by a concubine. In the 
English and Irish records he is evi- 
dently the ancestor of the Clanna Ivar 
or Hy Ivar, who were the kings of 
Northumbria and Dublin. 

15 Hostages. Ann. Ult. 865 (=866). 

■" Ethelwerd. MonumeutaHist. Brit., 
p. 512, E. Angl. Sax. Chron. 867. 

*/■ 3 



English historian by whom the leader of the expedition is 
named, the fleets of King Ivar aiTÍved, "advectse sunt 
classes tyranni Igwares." The two chieftains uniting 
theii' forces crossed the Humber to York, and slew the 
kings Osbright and Ella^; they remained a year at York,^ 
and the next year (870 or 871) returned to Dublin from 
Scotland with booty^ and captives. Ivar died^ in 872 or 
873, four or five years before the commencement of the 
forty years' rest chronicled by oui' author. In 875 Oistin 
or Eystein, (probably the same as Thorstein the Ked), son 
of Amlaff, was slain per dolum, as the Ulster Annals say, 
in Scotland'^; and in the same year, or the year before, 
Cearbhall {pron. Carroll), son of Dunghall, chieftain of 
Ossory, succeeded Ivar Beinlaus as king of Dublin,^ and 

1 Ella. Ann. Ult. 866; Anglo-Sax. 
Chron. 867; Lappenberg (Thorpe's 
transl.) ii., 33, 34. 

2 York. Anglo-Sax. Chron. 868-9. 

3 Booty. Ann. Ult. 870 [871]. 
Amlaf's fortress (l,on5poi\T;) at Clon- 
dalkin had been burned by the Irish 
(865=868, Four Mast.), who gibbeted 
1 00 heads of the slain ; the next year 
his son Carlus fell in battle. These 
outrages probably excited his thirst 
for vengeance; and on his return in 
870, he plundered and burned Armagh 
{Four Mast. 867 = 870). The A. S. 
Chron. expressly mentions Inguar (or 
Ivar) and Ubba as the chieftains who 
slew King Eadmund in 870. See 
above, p. Ivi. 

i Died. Ann. Ult. 872; Ann. Inisf. 
(Dubl.) 873. 

« Scotland. Ann. Ult. 874; Robert- 
son's Scotland under her early King's, 
I. p. 47. 

6 Dublin. See the Genealogy of 
Cearbhall, O'Donovan's Tribes arid 
Territories of Ancient Ossory [enlarged 
from Trans. Kilkenny Archisol. Soc. 
Dublin, 1851], pp. 11-13. This 
chieftain had formed an alliance with 
the Danes of Dublin soon after their 

arrival; and indeed Thorstein, Olafs 
son, was married to Thurida, Cear- 
bhall's grand-daughter, by his daur. 
Rafertach, who had married the cele- 
brated Eyvind Austmann, so called 
because he had come to the Hebrides 
from Sweden. In 856 (Foiu- JM.) really 
857 or 858, we find Cearbhall in 
alliance with Ivar (probably the 
same who is called Olafs brother), 
and they vanquished the Cinel Fia- 
chach (who seem to have had the 
Gaill Gaedhil of Leth Cuinn, or the 
northern half of Ireland, on their 
side,) in a battle fought in Aradh- 
tire, now the barony of Arra or Du- 
harra, county of Tipperary. Cearbhall 
then attacked Leinster, probably with 
a \'iew to the possession of Dublin, 
and took hostages, amongst whom 
was Cairbre, son of Dunlang, heir ap- 
parent to the sovereignty of Leinster. 
The next year he attacked Meath, in 
alliance with Amlaff and Imhar (Four 
M.); but the Synod of Rath-aedha- 
mac Brie, now Rath-hugh, in West- 
nieath, under the bishop of Armagh 
and the abbot of Clonard, made a tem- 
porary peace between the contending 
parties. It was in 865, according to 



continued to be recognised as such until his death in 888. 
It is evident that during his reign the Scandinavian leaders 
had abandoned to him and their other followers the care 
of their colony at Dublin. His death seems to have 
created in the native chieftains the hope of obtaining 
possession of the fortress by the expulsion of the Danes ; 
for in that very year Flann,^ king of Ireland, joining his 
forces to those of the king of Connaught, and aided by the 
ecclesiastical authorities of Leinster, attempted the over- 
throw of the Danish dynasty of Dublin, but was defeated, 
as we have seen, with the loss of ahiiost all his allies. 

" Four years after this," adds our author, (meaning The Danes 
apparently four years after the death of Donnchadh, king °^ Dublin 
of Munster, or A.D. 888, and the other contemporary events land for 
recorded in this chapter,) " the foreigners left Ireland Scotland. 
and went to Alba with Sitriuc, son of Ivar."^ This clause, 

the Ann. Ult., that Amlaff and Auisle 
went to Scotland, and plundered all 
Pictland. It is doubtful whether this 
event or the death of Ivar in 873 
should be regarded as the occasion 
which enabled Cearbhall to make 
himself king of Dublin. His reign is 
not recognised by the Irish Annals, 
possibly because of its connexion with 
the Danish usurpation. It is a re- 
markable proof of the importance of 
Dublin as a Danish settlement that 
Cearbhall, king of Dubliu, (Kiarvalr 
ar Dyfflini a Irlandi) is enumerated 
amongst the principal sovereigns of 
Europe at the period of the occupation 
of Iceland. Landnama. p. 4. 

To the English historians Dublin 
was wholly unknown ; it is mentioned 
but once in the A. S. Chr(m., and 
then only incidentally, as the place to 
which the defeated Northmen retired 
after the battle of Brunanburg (937-8). 
Cearbhall's death is recorded by the 
Four Mast. 885 (=888) ; by the"^wM. 
Cambria, 887; and by the Brut y 
Tijwysogion m the same year. 

^Flann. This prince was the son 
of Lann (or Flanna, as she is called, 
Fragments of Annals^ p. 179), daughter 
of Dunghall or Dunlaing, lord of Os- 
sory, (and therefore sister of Cear- 
bhall,) by Maelseachlainn, king of 
Ireland; after whose death, in 863, she 
married Aedh Finnliath, king of Ire- 
land, the immediate predecessor of her 
son Flann — Fragments oj Annals, pp. 
129, 139, 157. She appears also to 
have had a son Cennedigh (or Ken- 
nedy) by Gaithin, lord of Leix, whe- 
ther legitimately or not is not recorded. 
Ihid, pp. 157, 165, 173, 179. Aedh 
Finnliath had also married Maelmuri, 
(daughter of Ciuaedh, or Kenneth mac 
Alpin), who was the mother of Niall 
Glundubh, and therefore probably 
Aedh's first wife — (Keating). 

2 Sitriuc, son of Ivar. Two chief- 
tains, named Sitric, are mentioned in 
this chapter. One (styled " king of the 
foreigners," or as the MS. B. reads, 
" son of the king of the foreigners,") 
is said to have been killed with Dou- 
chadh mac Dubhdabhoirenn, king of 



however, does not appear in the MS. L, nor is the informa- 
tion it contains to be found in the Irish Annals. But it is 
remarkable that the Annals of Ulster, at their year 892 or 
893, which is the foui'th year after 888, mentiona victory by 
the Saxons over the Black GentUes with gi^eat slaughter, 
which was followed' by "a great internal dissension among 
the foreigners of Dublin, who divided themselves into 
factions, one part siding with the son of Imhar, and the 
other with Sichfrith the Earl." This dissension no doubt 
weakened the Dublin Danes, and the year noted by the 
Annals of Ulster, although not the exact date of their 
leaving Ii'eland, was perhaps the beginning of their loss 
of power. The exact year of then- expulsion is given by 
the Four Masters 897, really 900, and by the Annals of 
Ulster,^ 901 or 902. It appears that in that year a new 
attack was organized against the Danes of Dublin, headed 
by Maelfinnia, king of Bregia, and by CearbhaU, son of 
Muiregan, king of Leinster ; the confederates succeeded in 
displacing the foreign garrison, who " escaped half dead 
across the sea," leaving behind them a great many of their 

Munster, in 888 ; but there seems some 
confusion about him. L. calls him 
^^ Siuffrad, son of Imar, king of the 
foreigners," p. 233 ; and the Ann. Ult. 
at 887 = 888, have '^Sicfritk mac Imar 
rex Nordmannorum a fratre suo oc- 
cisus est." Siugrad, if the u be pro- 
nounced V, does not differ essentially 
from Sicfrith ; the name is frequently 
used as identical with Sitric and Si- 
gurd, even by Scandinavian writers. 
The other Sitriuc is spoken of as the 
leader of the foreigners who left Ire- 
land, and went to Scotland, in 902. 
A third Sitriuc (if he be not the same 
as the first) is mentioned by the Ann. 
Ult. 895 (896) : " Sitriucc mac Imair 
ab aliis Nordmannis occisus est." Of 
him, most probably, at 893 (894), the 
same Annals say "Mac Ivar" (but 
without naming him) " came again to 

Ireland." TTlac Iriiaip. iceiaum t)o 
cum nGyienn. 

1 Followed. It is not, however, said 
expressly that the one was the conse- 
quence of the other, although the two 
events are recorded in immediate juxta- 

2 Ulster. The event is thus re- 
corded by the Ulster Annals : " The 
banishment of the Gentiles from Ire- 
land, i.e., from the fortress of Dublin, 
by Maelfinnia, son of Flannagan, with 
the men of Bregh, and by Cerbhall, 
son of Murigan, with the men of 
Leinster, so that they left great num- 
bers of their ships behind them, and es- 
caped half dead across the sea wounded 
and broken." Comp. Kobertson, Scot- 
land under her early Kwgs, vol. i., p. 
56, sq. 



ships. The Four Masters add that they were afterwards 
beseiged, and reduced to great straits, at Inis mac Nesain, 
now Ireland's Eye/ where they appear to have taken 
refuge on their way to Scotland, The Annals make no 
mention of their leader on this occasion ; the present work 
is the only authority which tells us that he was Sitriuc, son 
of Imhair, apparently not the same as " Sichfrith the 
Earl,"^ who is distinguished in the Annals of Ulster from 
"the son of Imhair" as having been the leader of the 
party opposed to him. 

It appears then that the forty years' " rest," interpreted The forty 
as a rest from fresh invasions, although it is not expressly ^^^;^^ent- ' 
mentioned in the Annals, is perfectly consistent with the ally con- 
events recorded by them ; and that there was such a period 
of rest is incidentally confirmed by the circumstance men- 
tioned in the Annals of Ulster, that in 877 (878), about 
three years after the commencement of the forty years' 
rest, the Scrinium, or shrine of St. Columcille, with his 
minna or precious things,^ were removed to Ireland " to 
protect them from the foreigners ;" and the year before 
i.e., 876 (877), as the same Annals* inform us, Ruaidhri, 
son of Murminn [Mervyn], king of Britain or Wales, fled 
to Ireland to escape the Dubhgaill or Danes. 

Ireland was therefore then regarded as aplaceof compara- its prob- 
tive safety ; and the absence of fresh inroads during the ^^^^ ^^^^' 
long period of forty years, may possibly be accounted for 
by the hope of more valuable booty held out to the North- 
men of Ireland, by the extensive depredations^ of their 

1 Ireland's Eye, antiently Inis Faith- 
lenn, Mart. Doneg. (15 March). A 
small island north of Howth. Eye here 
is the Scandinavian Ey, insula, not the 
English Eye., oculus. Inis mac Nech- 
tain, in the printed text of the Four 
M., is a mere eiTor of transcription. 

^Sichfrith the Earl. There was a 
Sigfried, Earl of Orkney, at this time. 

3 Precious things. See Reeves's 
Adamnan, p. 315, sq. ; Ann. Ult. 877 ; 
Four M. 875 (=878). 

Í An?ials. Ult. 876 ; Four M. 874. 
See also Keating (reign of Aedh Finn- 

5 Dejjredations. See Depping, Hist, 
des expeditions des Normands et leur 
ciahlissement en France — (Livre III.) 
Paris., 1843. Bibrn Ironside, son of 
Regnar Lodbrok, is said to have been 
the leader in some of the earlier de- 
predations of the Northmen on the 
Continent of Europe. Ibid, p. 135. 



Arrival of 
Danes at 


countrymen at that period on the Rhine, in France, 
Britann_y, Italy, and other parts of the Continent of 
Europe, as well as in Great Britain. 

The reinforcements which came to the Danes of Water- 
ford^ are next mentioned, chap, xxviii. They are de- 
scribed as "innumerable hordes," under the command of 
Ragnall, gi-andson of Ivar, and of the Earl Ottir. This 
latter chieftain is not mentioned in the Annals, although 
they record at A.D. 916 (first yearof Niall Glundubh) the 
arrival of Raghnall,^ grandson of Ivar, to reinforce the 
foreigners already established at Waterford. In chap. 
XXXV. we have mention of an earl called Ottir Dubh, or the 
black, who came with 100 ships to Waterford, and put all 
Munster under tribute. We read also in the Annals of 
Ulster, A.D. 91 3, of a Barid, son of Ottir, who was killed 
in battle at the Isle of Man, by Raghnall, on his way to 
Waterford.^ Ottir, or Ottar, the father of this Barid, can 
scarcely have been the same Ottar the Earl, who accom- 
panied Ragnall three years afterwards as his ally and 
joint commander of reinforcements to the Danes of 

After some exploits'* of minor importance, this party of 

1 Waterford. Called in the text 
Loch Dacaech : the estuary or bay of 
Dacaech, for so the word Loch here 
signifies. See above, p. xxxi., n. 
Dacaech (according to the Drimsean- 
chus) is the name of a woman. The 
Four M. first mention the settlement 
of Danes in Waterford at A.D. 1)12 — 
Ann. Ult. 913. 

"Raghnall. He is called king of 
the black foreigners, or Danes, by the 
Four Masters, 915 ; Ult. 916. At 913 
(Ult), and 912 (Four M.), we have 
mention of " a great new fleet of gen- 
tiles at Loch Dacaoch." We ought, 
perhaps, to infer from this that the 
reinforcements recorded in the text 
arrived between the years 913 and 916. 

3 Waterford. The words are " Bel- 

lum navale oc [i.e. ajmd^ Manainn 
eci^fi [inter'] Barid Mac nOitir, et 
Ragnall ua Imair, ubi Barid pene cum 
omni exercitu suo deletus est." Ann. 
Ult. 913. Dr. O'Conor {Rer. Hib. 
Scriptt. iv. p. 247,) reads Barid mac 
Noctir, a mistake for Mac n-Oitir. 
Mr. Robertson (Scotland under her 
early Kings, i. p. 57,) has it "Barid 
mac Nocti." The Dublin MS. of the 
Ulster Annals hus Mac n-Oitir, "son 
of Oitir," which is evidently the true 

* Exploits. These were, the murder 
of Domhnall or Donnell, son of Donn- 
chadh, heir apparent of Cashel, who 
was probably son of Donnchadh mac 
Dubhdabhoirenn, king of Munster (see 
App. B., p. 238); the plunder of Muse- 



invaders divided themselves into three companies, one of 
which took up their station at Corcach,' the other at 
Inis-na-hEidhnighi, in Kerry, and the third at Glas-Linn, 
From these garrisons they plundered the whole of Munster, 
so that there was not a house left standing from the 
river, ^ meaning, perhaps, the Shannon, southward to the 
sea ; and it is particularly mentioned that Gebennach, son 
of Aedh, king of the Ui Conaill Gabhra,^ was beheaded 
by them. A chronological note is added that this con- 
quest of Munster took place in the year before the death 
of Flann Sionna. This ought perhaps to have been the 
year after, '^ or A.D. 917. 

A paragraph which stands in the text at the end of Ragnaii 
the next chapter,^ is obviously misplaced, and ought j^ Scot-^'^ 
to come in here ; all that intervenes belongs to an land. 
earlier period, and is evidently an interpolation.^ The 
paragTaph alluded to records the flight or banishment of 
Ragnall and Ottir into Scotland, where they were de- 
feated, and both chieftains slain by Constantine, son of 
Aedh. This battle, according to some English authorities, 
took place at Tynemore, or Tynemoor,^ in the year 918 ; 

raighe [now Muskeny, co. of Cork,] 
and of Ui Cairpre, or Ui Cairpre 
Aebhdha, in the co. of Limerick. {Book 
of Rights, p. 77.) 

1 Corcach, now Cork ; Inis-na-hEidh- 
nigke, now Iny, in Kerry ; Glas-Linn, 
(probably on the Shannon; see Tribes 
and Customs of Hy Many, p. 130, ?i.) 

2 River. The original word is Lui, 
a stream, flood, or river, written also 
Xa, ?/ia; (Welsh, Llif the sea); prob- 
ably cognate with f-lu-men, and with 
the Irish Iri-nax), to fill. It is also 
the name of the river Lee, which is 
generally written Xj<xo\, O' Flaherty, 
Ogyg., p. 164. In this sense it has 
been taken in the translation, p. 31, 
and p. 234. But the district from the 
Lee to the sea southwards would be a 
very small portion of the coimtry. 

3 Ui Conaill Gabhra. See note, p. 

31, and comp. Book of Rights, p. 76, n. 
The descent of this tribe is given App. 
B., Genealog. Table V. For the other 
chieftains slain, see p. 31, and note '. 
* After. We have already had oc- 
casion to notice the ambiguity of the 
phrase ^ae nee, which may signify be- 
fore or after the death, perhaps accord- 
ing to the pronunciation of yie. See p. 
Ixix, n. Flann Sionna died 8 Kal. Jun. 
916. Ogyg., p. 4:3i, This chronological 
clause does not occur in the ancient 
MS. of the present work, and is there- 
fore probably an interpolation. 

5 Next chapter. See p. 35. 

6 Interpolation. See p. 34, and n. % 
p. 234-5. 

■=" Tynemoor. Innes, Critical Essay, 
App. 3. Simeon Dunelm. says, at Cor- 
bridge-on-Tyne, ii., c. 16. 



Battle of 

and the Annals of Ulster, at that date, give a more cir- 
cumstantial account of it than is customary with them ; 
but without saying where the battle was fought. They 
tell us that Ragnall was accompanied by two earls, Ottir 
and Gragaban,^ with some others whom the annalist calls 
og-tigherna, "young chieftains." The North Saxons also 
were in alliance with " the men of Alba ;" which circum- 
stance seems to prove that Ragnall's object was to secure 
his right to the sovereignty of Northumbria, and conse- 
quently he was resisted. He divided his forces into four 
battalions — one led by his brother Godfrith, grandson of 
Ivar ; one by the two earls ; one by "the young chieftains ;" 
and the fourth kept in concealment or ambuscade by him- 
self. The united forces of Constantine and his Saxon 
allies soon routed the first three battalions, and "there 
was a great slaughter of the Gentiles round Ottir and 
Grao-aban." Then Ragnall attacked the victors in the rear, 
and rendered the result of the battle doubtful ; " for 
neither king nor mormaer [great steward or earl]" was 
slain by the Danes, and " night alone put an end to the 
conflict." In other words the battle was a drawn one.^ 
It is not said in the Ulster Annals that Ragnall or Ottir, 
or any other of the leaders, was slain ; but we infer that 
at least Ragnall, grandson of Ivar, whom they call " king 
of the FingaU and Dubhgall," survived ; for they record 
his death three years after the battle,^ A.D. 921. 

1 Gragaban. 1m '51^a55aba11n, 
"with Graggaban." It is evident 
tliat this is the name or surname of a 
man. He is not mentioned in the 
other Annals ; but Simeon Dunelm. in 
his shorter Chron. (^Monum. Hist. Brit. 
p. 68G, B.) at the year 812, mentions 
this chieftain under the name of Osml 
\ Cracabam, in these words, "Reingwold 
Rex, et Oter Comes, et Osvul Craca- 
bam irruperunt et vastaverent Dun- 
bline" [Dunbhun]. In Lappenberg's 
Hist, of England (Thorpe's ed. ii. p. 
94) Cracabam is mistaken for the 

name of a place. But it is a well 
known name or surname, and is sup- 
posed to signify crow-foot, indicating 
skill in augury. See Langebek, ii. p. 
153, n. 

2 J drawn one. Ann. Ult. 917 (918). 
Dr. Reeves has given this passage in 
the original, and with a translation, 
Adamnan, p. 332, n. See a good ac- 
count of this battle in Robertson's 
Scotland under her early Kings, i. p. 
57, sq. 

3 Battle. Ann. Ult. 920, al 921. 



The other events recorded in this chapter (xxix.), which, Slaughter 
as we have said, are not in their chronological order, Qajn ^t 
fall within the period which our author calls "the rest," ^^^ Main 
that is to say, the forty years during which there were no 
fresh invasions of Ireland. These were " an extraordinary 
and indescribable slaughter of the foreigners at Dun 
Main,^ in the west of Ireland," or, according to another 
reading, in the west of Munster. Tlie Dun itself was de- 
molished, and was therefore probably a fortress of the 
enemy ; for the victors were the principal tribes of the 
south-west of Ireland, namely, the Eoghanacht of Loch 
Lein, or Killarney, under the command of their chieftain, 
Conligan,^ son of Maelcron ; the Ui Conaill Gabhra, of 
Limerick, imder Flannabrat, or Flannery, grandson of 
Dunadach,^ their king; and the Ciarraighe, or men of 
Kerry, under their chieftain, Congalach,'* son of Lachtna. 

Our author fixes the date of this great victory by telling Contem- 
us that in the same year the following events took place : g^g^^ 
— L Colphinn'^ was slain at Cenn Curraigh, and Baeth- 
baiT was slain at Dublin. 2. Amlaff plundered Lismore. 
3. Foenteran, son of Drognean, chieftain of the Fir 
Muighi (now Fermoy), burned AmlafTs camp on the same 
night, in revenge for the plunder of Lismore. 4. After 
wliich AmlaiF murdered^ his own brother, Osill, or Oislé. 
These calamities were brought upon the Danish chieftains 
by the miraculous vengeance of St. Mochuda,^ patron of 
Lismore, for their sacrilegious plundering of that sacred 

1 Bun Main. This place is not men- 
tioned in the Annals. There is a Diin- 
maiue in the west of Kerry. Dun- 
Medlioin is mentioned, p. 25, ■which 
is perhaps another spelling of the 

~ Conligan. This chieftain is not 
mentioned in the Annals, although the 
Four M. record the death of his father, 
Maelcron, at their year 837. 

s Dunadach. He died 833 (=835), 
Four M. See App. B., Genealog. 

Table V., No. 20. Flannabrat was 
killed, A.D. 876 (=878). Four M. 

* Congalach. He is not mentioned 
in the Annals. 

s Colphinn. See chap, xxiv., p. 26, 
and p. Ixxiii above. 

fi Murdered. See Fragments of An- 
nals, p. 171, and p. Ixxii., supra. 

"> iiochuda. CaUed also Cartha«h, 
from the name of his master, St. 
Cathach. See Mart. Donegal, 14 May, 
p. 127. His original name was Cuda. 



Their date 

The battle 

of cm Ua 

or Killi- 



Unfortiinatel}', however, none of these events 
mentioned in the Irish Annals, and therefore we 
ignorant of their precise dates. But the next paragraph 
in our author's narrative enables us to supply this defect. 
He there tells us that this was the same year in which 
Aedh Finnliath, king of Ireland, with Conchobhair,^ or 
Conor, king of Connaught, gained the battle of Cill Ua 
nDaighre'^ over " the Fair Gentiles," six years after 
the death of King Maelseachlainn, and therefore A.D. 

It appears from the curious account of this battle given 
in the Brussels " Fragments of Annals," that it originated 
in some insult offered to King Aedh Finnliath, by his 
nephew Flann,^ king of the Cianachta Bregh, who called 
to his assistance the crews of a fleet of Norsemen, at that 
time anchored at the mouth of the Boyne. He had also 
as his allies the men of Leinster, and thus was considerably 
superior in point of numbers to the king of Ireland. 
Nevertheless he was defeated with great slaughter, and 
beheaded. The chronicle* represents the victory as due 

' Conchobhair. See Dr. O'Dono- 
van's note ^, Four M. 866, p. 504. 

2 cm Ua n-Daighre : now Killineer, 
near Drogheda. (See Fraginents of 
Annals, p. 183, w.) 

3Flann. The Annals of Ulster (867) 
give the following account of this 
battle — " Bellum [battle gained] by 
Aedh Mac Neill, at Cill-oa-nDaigri, 
over the Hy Niall of Bregia and the 
Leinstermen, and over the great army 
of the Gaill, i.e. 300, or 900, or more. 
In which fell Flann, son of Conang, 
king of all Bregia, and Diarmait, son 
of Edirsceil" [Driscoll], " king of Loch 
Gabhor" [Loch Gower or Lagore, near 
Dmishaughlin, co. of Meath] " et 
in isto bello plurimi Gentiliiim truci- 
dati sunt. And Fachtna, son of Mael- 
duin, righdomhna [heir apparent] of 
the North, fell in the heat of the 

battle, et alii multi." Flann was the 
son of Conang, or Conall, king of the 
Cianachta (or posterity of Cian) of 
Bregia, by a daughter of Niall Caille, 
whose name is not preserved, and sister 
of Aedh Finnliath. To her the poem 
quoted in the text is ascribed ; and see 
the other poems quoted by the Four 
M., A.D. 866 ( = 869), on the battle of 
Cill-Ua-nDaighri, showing that the 
victory was considered at the time 
one of great triumph and importance. 
* Chronicle. Fragments of Annals, 
p. 181, sq. Before the battle, Aedh 
is represented as reminding his army 
that "it is not by force of soldiers 
that a battle is gained, but by the aid 
of God and the righteousness of the 
prince. Pride" (he adds) "and super- 
fluous forces are not pleasing to God, 
but humility of mind and firmness of 



to the piety and Christianity of King Aedh, who spared 
the men of Leinster after the battle, as being Christians, 
and turned his troops altogether against the Pagan 

The events recorded in the next chapter (xxx.) are dated Battle of 
in the year " in which Niall-Glun-dubh became monarch ^^^ "^"^' 
of Ireland," or A.D. 916. At this epoch Sitric, grandson 
of Ivar, and brother of Ragnall of Waterford, of whom we 
have just spoken, came with another He^t and settled at 
Cenn Fuait.' From this place they plundered Leinster, 
and soon afterwards gained a great battle over the king 
of Leinster. Our author does not say where ; but the 
Annals of Ulster and the Four Masters tell us expressly 
that the battle was at Cenn Fuait, which was probably 
somewhere near the coast of the counties of Kilkenny or 
Wexford. After their victory^ they went northwards 

heart." Flann, on the other hand, 
avows to his followers that his sole 
■object is aiiibition, "to gain the throne 
•of Ireland or be killed." Again King 
Aedh exhorts his soidiers " Think not 
•of flight, but trust in the Lord, who 
gives victary to the Christians ;" and 
«iter the battle, " Beloved f>eople 
spare the Christians, and fight against 
*he idolaters, who are now routed be- 
fore yo-u." It appears, therefore, that 
the religious element had begun to 
make itself felt in the contest between 
the parties. 

1 Cenn Fuait : " Fuat's Head." This 
place, Dr. O'Donovan conjectures (^Four 
M. 915, notes, p. 589, 560), is now 
Confey, in the comity of Kildare, near 
Leixlip, (the Danish Lax-lep, Salmon 
Leap,) in the barony of Scdt (Saltus 
Salmonis). But the Annals of Ulster, 
at 916 (Four M. 915), tell us that 
Cenn Fuait was i naiixniyi Lai5in, 
■"in the East, or anterior part of Lein- 
ster ;" and it must have been near the 
sea, as Sitric, "with his fleet," settled 

there. A poem, quoted by the Four 
M., seems to speak of the battle (if it 
be the same) as havhig taken place in 
" a valley over Tigh Jloling," which 
may signify either Timolin, iji the 
south of the county of Kildare, or St. 
Mullins on the Barrow, in the south of 
the county of Carlow. This latter place 
may have been approached by water, 
from Waterford, and as it is situated 
at the foot of Braudun Hill, the battle 
may have been in some " valley over 
Tigli Moling," and the Danish fortress 
called Cenn Fuait, on some head in the 
mountain, accessible to light ships by 
the Barrow. 

• Victory. In the battle we are told 
were slain 600, with fifty kings. The 
following are named : — 1. Ugaire, sou 
of Ailill, king of Leinster, whose father 
was also slain by the Norsemen in 
871 (Four M. 869) ; 2. Maolmordha, 
son of Muiregean, king of western (or 
more probably eastern) Liffey, See 
note *, p. 34, That part of the 
county of Kildare whicli lies between 




The Clanna 
Ivar land 
forcibly .it 

Battle of 
shogae and 
death of 
Niall Glun- 
dubh, 91Í). 

and plundered Kildare, and " the greater part of tlie 
churches of Erinn." 

We next read of the arrival of another party of the 
Clanna Imhar, or children of Ivar, as the Iiish call them. 
They came in " an immense royal fleet," under the com- 
mand of Sitric, grandson of Ivar, to Dublin, where they 
" forcibly' landed," and encamped. Whether this was the 
same Sitric, grandson of Ivar, who was the leader of the 
Gentiles of Cenn Fuait three years before, is not certain. 
He is here called Sitric Caech, " the Blind," and by the 
Four Masters (at 917) Sitric Gale, a word which, if it be 
Irish, may signify " the champion" or " hero." 

Be this however as it may. King Niall Glundubh lost 
no time in mustering his clansmen and kindred from the 
north of Ireland. He attacked the invaders, and a great 
battle ensued in the mountains south of Dublin, where he 
himself was slain ; twelve kings fell in the battle, with a 
great part of the nobles of the northern half of Ireland, 

the river Life or Liffey and the sea, 
and is included in its horse-shoe 
winding, -was eastern or Airther Life ; 
the rest of the county was western 
or larthair Life (See Four M. 628, 
note ^, p. 250). 3. Miighron, son 
of Cenneidigh, king of Laighis (now 
Leix) and the three Comanns, (septs 
situated in the north of the county of 
Kilkenny. See Four M. 871, note ', 
p. 516). His father, Cenneidigh, or 
Kennedj"^, was the son of Gaithin, bj' 
Lann, sister of Cearbhaill of Ossorj'. 
Seeabove, p.lxxxi,note i. 4. Cinaodh, 
son of Tuathal, king of the Ui Enech- 
glais, a tribe seated in the baronj' of 
Arklow, county of Wicklow. They 
were descended from Bresail, surnamed 
Enechglais, or of the green face, son 
of Cathair Mór, king of Ireland in the 
second century (Fuur ;M. ill 5, p. 590). 
5. Maelmoedhog, son of Diarmaid, 
abbot of Glenn Uissen, now Killeshin, 
(Queen's louiify, in the territovx- of T'i 

Bairche. He was probably abbat- 
bishop ; and is called by our author 
Archbishop of Leinster, i.e. Aru- 
(chief or eminent) bishop, because of 
his eminence in learning, for the Four 
Mast, tell us that he was " a distin- 
guished scribe, anchorite, and learned 
sage, in Latinity and in the Scotic 
speech." The Ann. Ult. call him "a 
sage, and bishop of Leinster." He is 
not mentioned by AVare or Harris, nor 
does his name occur in connexion with 
any of the known episcopal sees. 
There were no Archbishops, in thfr 
modern sense of the word, at that time 
in Ireland; see St. Pairicl; Apostle 
of Ireland, p. 14, sq. 

1 Forcibly. We have seen that thc- 
foreigners were expelled from Dublin 
in 902 by the Irish chieftains, wlio 
probably still held possession of the 
place, and resisted the landing of the 
new invaders. This explains the 
phrase a\x eiccm, " by force." 



and a " countless army besides." The Annals have re- 
corded chronological criteria which place it beyond a 
doubt that Wednesday, September 15th, 919, was the pre- 
cise date of this engagement, and the Four Masters teU us 
that the battle was fought at Cill Mosamhog,' now 
Kilmashogue, in the mountains near Eathfamham, about 
six miles from Dublin. 

The names of the twelve^ kings or chieftains who were Twelve 
slain in the battle are then given in detail; and it is evident ^^^^^ ^^^'°" 

1 cm Mosamhog. The church of 
Mosamhog. The name of this saint 
would be Samh, or perhaps Sabh, 
taking away the devotional prefix mo, 
my, and the termination og, little or 
young. But no such name has been 
found in the Irish Calendars. Sabia 
or Sabina, was the mother or grand- 
mother of St. Cuthbert. The remains 
of a very large cromlech are stiU to be 
seen on Kilmashogue mountain, in the 
grounds of Glen Soiithwell, near St. 
Columba's College. This, in all pro- 
bability, marks the grave of the chief- 
tains and kings slain in the battle. 
Kilmocudrig, or the church of St. 
Cuthbert, now Kilmacud, is in the 

" Twelve. See note, p. 36, where 
the variations of the MSS. and other 
authorites in the list of the kings are 
collected. The Dublin MS., from 
which the text is taken, is the only 
authority which adheres to the num- 
bertwelve. Theuamesare there given 
thus: — 1. Conchobhair, son of Mael- 
seachlainn I. , heir apparent of Tara, that 
is, of the chieftainry of the Clann Col- 
main. (SeeGeneal.TableII.,p. 246). 
2. Conaing, son of Flann Sionna, heir 
apparent of Ireland (í6.) 3. Flaithbher- 
tach, s. of Domhnall, another heir 
apparent of Ireland. 4. Aedh, son of 
Eochaidh [Eochagan, Four M. 917,] 
king of TJladh. 'Re^&ves&Eccl.Antiq., 
p. 352, sg. 5. Maelmithigh, son of Flan- 

nagan, king of Bregia; a district in- 
cluding the counties of Meath, West- 
meath, Dublin (north of the Liffey), 
and part of Louth {Booh of Rights, p. 

11, ».) 6. Eremhon, son of Cennedigh, 
chief of Cenel Mani, a tribe in Teffia, 
Westmeath. {Ibid, p. 180, re.) 7. Con- 
galach, son of Cele, king of Ua Mac 
Uais, now the barony of Moygoish, in 
Westmeath. 8. Congalach, son of 
Dreman, k. of Crimhthainn, now the 
barony of Lower Slane, in Meath. 9. 
Maelmuire, son of Ainbith, k. of Mug- 
omn or ]\Iugdhom, now Cremome [the 
anglicized form of Crioch Mughhorn], 
county of Monagban. 10. Deochan, 
son of Domhnall, king of Cianachta, 
a district of Bregia, in Meath. 11. 
Dunan, or Diman, son of CerbaUan. 

12. Brenan, son of Fergus. These two 
last named are not elsewhere men- 
tioned. The MS. B. adds the three 
following names — (see p. 36, n. 4) : — 
1. Maeldubh, king of Oirghiall (Louth 
and Monaghan), [who is called Mael- 
croibhe TJa Dubhsionaigh, lord of 
Oirghiall, by the Leahhar Gahhala and 
/bur J/asf.,andMaelcraibi Mac Dubh- 
sionaigh, king of the Airghiallu, by 
the Ann. Vlt.'] 2. Maelcraibi, son of 
Doilgen, whom the Four M. call king 
of Tortan, or of the Ui Tortain [a tribe 
of the Oirghialla seated near Ardbrac- 
can in the co. of Meath]; and 3. Cel- 
lach, son of Fogartach, king of South 



grandson of 
Ivar, plun- 
ders Ar- 
magh, A.D. 

Battle of 
Tigh Mic 

that those who obeyed the summons of King Niall were 
the families immediately interested in the succession to the 
monarchy, namely, the tribes of Meath and those of 
Tyrone and Down. The possession of Dublin was of 
peculiar importance to the Clann Colmain, from the dis- 
position shown by the neighbouring chieftains of Ossory 
and Leinster to make alliances with the invaders. 

In the next chapter (xxxii.) we read that Gothrin, 
Gofraigh, or Godfrey,' "son of Imar," plundered "the 
north of Erinn," and spoiled Armagh. He must have been 
not son but grandson of Imar, as he is rightly styled in 
the Brussels Annals, and by the Four Masters. The 
attack upon Armagh is dated in the Annals,^ Saturday, 
the day before the feast of St. Martin (Nov. 11), which 
indicates the year 921 ; and it is evident that the para- 
graph in which this event is recorded is out of its place, 
and ought to be at the end instead of the begimiing of this 
chapter. For our author's next words (p. 37), "notwith- 
standing that this battle was gained over them," that is, 
over the Irish, evidently refer to the Battle of Kil- 
mashogue, not to the battle (if there was one) in which 
Armagh was spoiled; but the words above quoted ought 
to have been rendered "that battle, however, was avenged 
on them in fuU measure^ before the end of a year," mean- 
ing, no doubt, a year after the battle of Kilmashogue ; for 
Donnchadh, grandson'* of Maelseachlainn, gained a battle 
over the Danes at Tigh Mic Deicthig in which an im- 

1 Godfrey. The Annals of Ulster (921) 
record the death of Kagnall, "grandson 
ofIvar,kmgof theFinngall andDubh- 
gall ; and immediately aftei-wards 
"Goithbrith, grandson of Ivar, in Ath- 
cliath;" in other words Gotfrith, imme- 
diately after the death of his brother 
Eagnall, came from Armagh to claim 
the sovereign power in Dublin, and to 
take advantage of the victory gained 
at Kilmashogue by his brother Sitric. 
See Appendix D, Geneal. Table, VII. 

■^Annals. Ult. 920 or <)21. Four 
M. 919. See p. 37, n. 9. 

3 Measure. The word com air" sig- 
nifies measure. In the text, p. 36 
(as Mr. Hennessy has pointed out), it 
was mistaken for a proper name. 

^ Grandson. The text basso», which 
is a very common mistake, and in this 
case a palpable error of the scribe. 
See p. 37, n. n, and Geneal. Table, II., p. 
246. There is obscurity in our author's 
phraseology, " notwithstanding, how- 
ever," (he says) "that this battle was 
gained over them," meaning the Irish, 
" Donnchadh gained a battle over 
them," meaning the Danes. 



mense number of the enemy was slain, and there 
escaped " not more than enough to tell what had hap- 
pened ;" and " in this battle," say the Four Masters, ' 
" revenge was had of them for the battle of Ath-cliath" 
(meaning the battle of Kilmashogue), "for there fell of the 
nobles of the Norsemen here, as many as had fallen of 
the nobles and plebeians of the Gaedhil in the battle of 

The arrival of Tamar, or Tomar, " son of Elgi," is next Arrival of 
recorded (chap, xxxiii.). He is said to have come " after I!^".^^^ ^^^"^ 
that," that is either after the battle of Kilmashogue, 
■which is most probably the meaning, or after the battle 
of Tigh-mic-Deicthig. He landed at Inis-Sibhtonn, now 
King's Island, at Limerick, with " an immense fleet," 
and plundered " the chief part of Munster, both churches 
and chief tainries." Our author adds that Lorcan,^ son 
«jf Conligan, was king of Cashel at that time. Tomai" wa.s 
the name given by the Irish to the Scandinavian chief- 
tain Gormo Gamle (the aged), called Mac Elgi, that is son 
(but perhaps grandson) of Gormo Enski (the English),^ 
the Guthrum of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, surnamed 
Enski, because he was born in England. 

The next chapter (xxxiv.) speaks of a fleet on Loch A fleet on 


of FailbheFlann, (son of Aedh Dubh), ^^^^' 

Í Four Masters. The battle of Tigh 
mic Deicthig is placed by the Ann. 
Ult. in 919 or 920, and by the Four 
M. in the first year of King Donn- 
chad, which began September 919; a 
year or two therefore Jeybre the spoiling 
(if Armagh by Godfrey, and a year 
after the battle of Kilmashogue. Tigh- 
niic-Deicthig, is variously written. 
Tigh mic nEathach {Four M.), and 
Tigh meic Nechtaigh (B.): the words 
mean, House of the son of Deicthach, 
or Eochadh, or sons of Nechtach. The 
place is now unknown ; but the Four 
Masters (A.D. 918, p. 599) tell us that 
it was in the district of Cianachta Bregh, 
in the counties of Meath and Dublin. 

- Lorcan. He began his reign 920 
■( = 922), Four M. lie was of the race 

ancestor of the Hi Failbhe. See 
Geneal. Table, IV., No. 11, p. 248. 
His genealogy up to Aedh Dubh is 
given in the Book of Leinster thus: 
Lorcan, son of Conligan [si. 898 = 901, 
Four J/.], s. of Corcrain, s. of Core, 
s. of Artgall, s. of Domhnall, s. of 
Conall, s. of Snedgus, s. of Natfraich, 
s. of Colga, s. of Failbhe Flann, king 
of Munster, who died 638 (Four M. 633). 
=) English. The Danish word EnsH 
(English) was corrupted by the Irish 
into Elgi, Ailche, or Ailge. It is not 
so easy to see how Gormo became 
Tomar. See p. Ixvii, n. The genealogy 
of this Gormo, and of his su<'cessor 
Gormo Gamle {grandmvui), is very 
obscure and confused. 


of a section 
of thewovk. 

The oppres- 
sion of 
Munster ; 
at Water- 

Derg-derc, the celebrated expansion of the Shannon now 
known as Lough Derg. This fleet seems to have been sent 
out from the Danes of Limerick ; for the historian adds, 
that after having phindered several of the ecclesiastical 
islands of the Lough, and committed other outrages,' 
they " arrived again in safety at Limerick withoiit battle 
or conflict." 

These, our author says, were the " mighty deeds" of the 
Clanna Elgi, or sons of Gormo Enski, and of the ships of 
Dublin, in the northern division of Ireland (called Leth 
Cuinn or Conn's Half) and in Leinster. These words 
seem to mark the conclusion of a division or section of 
the work, in which the northern half of Ireland was 
principally concerned ; but as the sons of Elgi are par- 
ticularly mentioned, perhaps the " mighty deeds" spoken 
of are only those described in chapters xxxiii. and xxxiv. 
The remainder of the work is devoted to the history of 
the conflicts between the men of Munster and the sons of 
Tvar, or Danes, properly so called, of Dublin, Limerick, 
and Waterford. 

The oppression of Munster began by the arrival of a 
fleet of one hundred ships, under the command of Oiter 
Dubh,^ or Ottar the black, at Port Lairge, or Waterford. 

1 Outrages. They plundered Inis 
Celtra, and "drowned," i.e. cast into 
the lake, its shrines, relics, and books. 
They plundered also Muc-inis-Riagail, 
(Hog-island of St. or Kegiilns, 
see above, p. xxxiii, n. 2), and other 
churches on the islands of the lake. 
On the mainland they plundered Tir- 
daglas i'Terryglass, in Tipperary), 
Lothra (see above, p. xlix), Clonfert, 
nd Clonmacnois. Sailing up the 
Shannon to another expansion of the 
river, called Loch Ribh or Loch Ree, 
they plundered its islands also, on 
which there were celebrated religious 
houses; especially Inis Clothrann(now 
Inrhcleraun) and Tnis-bo-finne (Inch- 
botin, the white co\'r's island). They 

then attacked the west of Meath, ami 
southofConnaHght, (the present King's 
county and south of Gahvay,) where- 
they slew Duacfi, king of Aidhne, i.e. 
of Ui Fiachrach Aidhne, in the south 
of Gahvay, a territory represented by 
the present diocese of Kilmaeduagh. 
See note s, p. 39. 

2 Oííer Dubh. Chap. xxxv. The 
English Chronicles, at dates which 
vary from 912 to 918, mention a fleet 
of " Pagan pivatea" who, having left 
Britain for Ganl nineteen years before, 
now returned from Llydwicca [Armo- 
rica] under the command of Ohter 
and Rhoald ; they entered the mouth 
of the Severn, but being driven off, 
took refuge in South Wales, and the® 


This chieftain plundered the eastern coast of Munster, 
compelKng the inhabitants to pay tribute, or personal 
service. In his wake followed innumerable hosts, so that, 
in the language of our author (p. 41 ), " there was not a har- 
bour, nor a landing-port, nor a Dun, nor a fortress, nor a fast- 
ness, in all Munster mthout fleets of Danes and pirates." 
The leaders of several of these fleets are named,' and a 
pathetic description is given of the ravages and outrages Outrage? 
committed by them, which exceeded, we are told, all that «ommittp'^ 
the country had hitherto endured. Particular mention Irish, 
is made of the captives of both sexes, who were carried 
off, " over the broad green sea," into oppression and bond- 
age; and our author exclaims, "Alas! many and frequent 
were the bright and brilliant 63^68 that were suffused with 
tears, and dimmed through grief and despair, at the 
separation of son from father, and daughter from mother, 
and brother from brother, and relatives from their race 
and from their tribe." 

In the next three or four chapters^ we have a record of \'ictorieso£ 
some battles in which the Danes of Dublin and other 'l"L^fv^* 

of Dublin. 

sailed to Ireland. " li tamen clade ] sufficiently. We have .seen also that 

oppress], quandam Lnsiilam, quas Reoric | our author's statement (eh. xxix., p. 

[Flatholme] nominatur, petierunt, ubi i 3.5) that Otfer and Kaghnall were 

tamdiu considenint, quousque plures both killed in Scotland, is not con- 

eorum essent fame consumpti ; unde finned by other records. See p. Ixxii. 

necessitate compulsi, prius ad Deome- | ^ Named. These are Oibert, Oduinn, 

dum [Sutliwalliam], deinde autumnal! ' [Audunn?] Griffin, Suuatgar, Lag- 

tempore ad Hiberniam navigarunt." mann, Erolf, Sitriuc, Buiduin, Bim- 

So says Flor. Wigorn., A.D. 915 {Mo- din, Liagrislach, Toirberduch, Eoan 

num. Hist. Britan. p, 570). Comp. Barun, [John the Baron?] Milid Buu, 

Anglo-Sax. Chron. A.D. 912 [Ihid, p. [the Knight Buu?] Suimin, Suainin, 

375)andL<T/j/7c»6e7-5^(Thorpe'sTransl.) and the Inghen Ruaidh, which is Irish, 

ii., p. 94 sq. The Ohter and Khoald and signifies the red or red-haired 

of the English Chronicles are very virgin. Examples of female adven- 

probably the Oiter or Ottir and Rag- turers, taking the command of a fleet, 

nald of the Irish (seech, xxviii., p. 31, are not uncommon in Scandinavian 

and note ^ p. 39). This is rendered history. The Editor has not identified 

the more likely, because Waterford the above named chieftains with any 

Harbour, where they landed, is easily of those mentioned in the Sagas, 

reached by sailing due west from -Ckopter$. Seep. 43, chaps, xxxvii- 

South Wales. The date also agrees xl. 



Battle of 



parties of the enemy were \actorious over tlie native 

The first of these was the victory gained by the fleet of 
Ath Cliath, or DubUn, and the sons of Imar, in the battle 
of Muine Broccain, a place now unknown, but probably 
in the county of Meath.' In this battle were killed 
Ruaidhri {pron. Rory) O'Cannannain, king of Tir Connell 
(county of Donegal), who was by some deemed king 
of Ireland,^ and around him fell many of his kinsmen, 
" the Nobles of the North." This event is carefully dated 

^Meath. We may infer this from 
the fact, recorded by the Four M. 
(A.D. 992), that the foreigners of 
Ath Cliath plundered Ardbraccan, 
Domhnach Patrick, and Muine Broc- 
cain. Therefore, as the two former 
are known to be in Meath, Muine 
Broccain was probably in the same 
neighbourhood. Comp. 4 M. 948 (p. 

2 King of Ireland. Rory O'Cannan- 
nain was of the race of Conall Gulban, 
son of Niall of the Nine Hostages. 
His ancestor Cannannan, from whom 
the tribe name, was the son of Flaith- 
bertach, king of Ireland (727-734.) 
See the Genealogical Table in O'Do- 
novan's Battle of Magh Rath, p. 338. 
Ruaidhri appears to have asserted his 
claim to the throne of Ireland in 947 
(945, 4 M.^ when he gained a battle 
over the legitimate king, Congalach, 
son of Maelmithigh, who was sup- 
ported by Amlaf, or Olaf Cuaran, the 
Danish king of Dublin. This was 
near Slane, in Meath. Two years 
afterwards the Danes burnt the belfry 
or round tower of Slane, in which pe- 
rished Caenechar, Lector (^Firleighinn) 
of Slane, who had taken refuge there, 
with the crosier of his patron St. Ere, 
a sacred bell, and many relics. O'Can- 
nannain the same year (949) gained 
another victory over Congalach, whom 

he reduced to great straits, entering^ 
Bregia, which he plundered. He en- 
camped at jNIuine Broccain [Brogan's 
Brake or shrubbery], and there as- 
sumed the name and authority of king 
of Ireland ; " the dues of the king of 
Ireland," as the Four Masters tell us, 
" were sent him from every quarter :" 
his o-wn people gave him the name of 
king ; but the Annals style him only 
Righ-domhna, or heir apparent, i.e. 
eligible to the throne. After remain- 
ing encamped at Muine Broccain for 
six months, he appears to have been 
attacked by the Danes of Dublin, and 
was slain, after a bloody battle, in 
which the Danes lost Ivar, tanist or 
heir apparent of their chieftain, as the 
Four Masters call him. Another of 
their chieftains, Godfrey, son of Sitric, 
escaped by flight. The Four Mastersr 
make the victory to have been on the 
side of Ruaidhri, notwithstanding his 
ha\'ing fallen in the battle, and tell us 
that 6,000 of the foreigners were slain. 
The Ann. Ult. say "2,000 vel plus." 

O'Cannannain's pretensions to the 
throne were probably founded on the 
fact that Congalach, the actual king, 
was of the Southern Hy Neill, au-d 
liad therefore succeeded iiTegularly, 
his predecessor, Donnchadh, son of 
Flann Sionna, having been also of the 
same race. See Append. B., p. 243. 



by our author : it was thirty years after Xial Gluudubh 
was slain, two years after Lachtin, son of Goffraith, was 
slain, and four years after the death of Muirchertach,^ 
son of Xiall Glundubh, the hero of the Leather cloaks. 
It was the year in which the foreigners plundered Cenn- 
annus^ of Colum Cille, now Kells, county of Meath, and 
also the year in which Ceinnedigh,^ or Kennedy, son of 
Lorcan, king of North Munster, or Thomond, was slain. 
These criteria seem to indicate the year 949 or 950 as the 
date of the battle of Muine Broccain. 

In the next chapter (xxxviii.) is recorded the death of Death of 
Congalach,^ son of Maelmithigh, king of Ireland. He Kinf'or ' 
was slain whilst engaged in an inroad upon Leinster, Ireland, 
with the nobles of Meath, in an ambuscade laid for him, 
by the Dublin Danes,' under the command of Amlaff, or 
Olaf Cuaran, son of Sitric, king of Dublin. This was seven 

1 Muirchertach. Perhaps'sve should 
read six instead of four years, for he 
was slain by the Danes in 943. See 
Circuit of Ireland, p. 9, sq. The nu- 
merals lu and ui mi^ht be easily con- 
founded. It is curious that our author 
has made no other mention of this 
celebrated chieftain, and has passed 
over without notice his many combats 
with the foreigners. This silence was 
probably the result of partisanship. 
Muircheartach was an O'Neill, and a 
hereditary enemy of the Munster tribes. 
Lachtin, son of Godfrey, is not else- 
where mentioned. 

- Cennannus. See the Four M. at 
their year 9-19, and Ann. Ult. 950 or 

3 Ceinnedigh. This chieftain, "heir 
apparent of Cashel," i.e. of the sove- 
reigntj- of Munster, was the father of 
the celebrated Brian Borumha, but the 
date of his death is not given in the 
authentic Annals. The Dublin Annals 
of Inisfallen, as they are called, men- 
tion his death at 9.51 , the same rear 

as the plunder of Cennannus or KeUs, 
and the other churches of Meath, re- 
corded by the Four M. under their 
year 949 (=951). 

* CongalacJi. He is described as 
" king of Temhair and of all Erinn ;" 
that is, king of Tara, or chieftain of 
the Clan Colmain, of Meath, and also 
king of all Ireland. See App. B., 
Geueal. Table II., p. 246. 

5 jyublln. Banes. The Ann. Ult. say 
that he was slain by the foreigners of 
Dublin and the Leinstermen, A.D. 955 
or 95G, at Taig-giurann illaignih [i.e. 
in Leinster]. The Four M. (954) spell 
the name of this place Tigh-Gighrainn, 
[House of Gighran,] and in the B. of 
Leinster (folio 16, 6. «) it is written 
Ailen Tighi Giurand [island of Tech 
Giurand]: this explains the genitive 
form Tigh, in the other spellings of 
the name, which is otherwise anomal- 
ous. Mr, Hennessy suggests that the 
place may be Inchicore (formerly writ- 
ten Inchi-gore, for Inis-tigh-Gore), a 
few miles from Dublin, near the Liffev. 




Battle of 


years after the death of Ruadhri O'Cannannain, mentioned 
in the preceding chapter, and therefore in the year 956. 

The battle of Cill-Mona [church of St. Munna], now 
Kilnioon, near Dunshaughlin, county of Meath, is next 
mentioned. It took place, our author says, " seventeen 
years" after the death of Congalach, which would give its 
date, 973. But the Annals^ do not agree in this Chron- 
ology. They give us, however, the additional informa- 
tion, that Domhnall, son of the late King Congalach, in 
alliance with Amlaif, or Olaf, and the Danes of Dublin, 
had in this battle defeated the actual sovereign, Domhnall 
O'Neill, his father's successor. It appears, therefore, that 
he had been tempted by an alliance with the Dubhn 
Danes, notwithstanding their slaughter of his father, to 
dispute the succession of the Northern Hy Neill, in the 
hope of obtaining the sovereignty for himself. But his 
victory on this occasion did not secure his object, for 
Domhnall, son of Muirchertach Leather-cloaks, continued 
to be recognised as kino- of Ireland until his death in 980. 

The chieftains slain in the battle of Cill-Mona are 
enumerated^ by our author, as well as in the Annals ; 

1 An7ials. The Four Mast. (976) say 
the twenty-second year of King Domh- 
nall [O'Neill] or 22 years after the 
death of Congalach, i.e. 978 ; but the 
Annals of Ulster record it under the 
year 969 or 970, which would be only 
13 or 14 years after the death of Con- 

2 Enumerated. These are — 1. Ardul, 
son of Maducan, (called Ardgal, or 
Ardgar,'s. of ]\Iadudain, Ann. Lit. 969, 
Four M. 976), king of Uladh; who is 
the42nd king in Dr. Reeves's list. Eccl. 
Antiq.,\>.^^o. 2. Douncuan,s.of Mael- 
niuire (called Donnagan, or Donnacan, 
in the Annals). The Four M. give him 
no title. The Ann. Ult. call him simply 
" Airchinnecli;" and our author, wlio is 
followed by Keating, styles him " King 
of Airghiall, or Oirghiall,"inLouthand 

Monaghan, called Uriel or Oriel by the 
English. Its boundaries are described 
by Dr. O'Donovan, B. of Rights, p. 21, 
n. °, 3. Cinaedh, son of the son of 
Cronghaille, called son of Cronghaille 
[Cronnelly] by the Four M. and Ann. 
Ult. This personage is called King or 
Lord of Conaille by the Annals, and 
the death of a Cronghaille, Lord of the 
ConaUle Muirtheimhne, the inhabit- 
ants of the level plain of Oirgliiall, co. 
of Louth, is mentioned by the Four M. 
at 935 (=937). See B. of Biffhts, loc. 
cit. and p. 166, n. i. 4. Maelbrighde, 
son of Gairbith, King of UiuEchdach, 
now Iveagh, co. of Down. See p. 
44, n. 12, and Reeves's iJccies. Antiq., 
p. 348. This chieftain is not men- 
tioned in the Annals, and has also been 
overlooked by Dr. Reeves, loc. cit. 


aiid we are told that eight years after this battle, the two 
heirs of Ireland, namely, the hems of the Northern and 
Southern claimants of the throne, were slain " by them," 
that is to say, hy the Danes of Dublin. The first of these 
was Muircheartach, son of Domhnall O'Neill, heir presump- 
tive to the throne of Ireland, in the line of the Northern 
Hy Niall.' The second was Congalach, son of Domhnall, 
and gi'andson of the King Congalach whose death in an 
ambuscade laid by the Danes has just been recorded.'^ 
Thus the two rival claimants being removed, the throne, 
on the death of Domhnall O'Neill, reverted to the southern 
line in the person of Maelseachlainn, or Malachy II,, son 
of Domhnall, the last of his race who ever held the 
undisputed sovereignty of Ireland. 

A battle fought in Munster, at Cathair Cuan, by Brian, Battle of 
is assigned to the same year, that is to say, the same year Cathair 
in which the two heirs of Ireland were slain. This is 
the battle recorded by the Four Masters, under the same 
year as the battle of Cill-Mona (976 = 978). They do 
not, indeed, mention Cathair Cuan,^ but they describe 
a battle wherein Donnabliain, son of Cathal, lord of Hy 

5. Fergus Fial, king of Codlaighe, or of 
Cuailgne, which is probably the tnie 
reading, a district in the co. of Louth, 
(now Cooley). See note 13, p. 45, 
and Reeves ibid, p. 369, note b. This 
hero has been also passed over with- 
out notice in the Annals. It will be 
observed that all the chieftains here 
mentioned were in the interest of the 
Northern Hy Xiall. 

'^Northern Hy Neill. See Geneal. 
Table I., p. 245 infra. 

^Recorded. See Geneal. Table II., 
p. 246 infra. The Four Masters give 
the death of the two heirs in the year 
before the battle of CUl-Mona, or in 
their year 975 [ = 978], and tell us 
that they were slain by Amlaf, son of 
Sitric, that is to say, by Olaf Culran. 
The Ann. Vlt, have the same entry 

at their year 976 or 977 [=978], but 
place the battle of Cill-mona eightyesLTa 
before. Tighernach dates the death 
of the two heirs 977. 

3 Cathair Cunn. This place has not 
been identified : the name signifies 
"Fort of Cuan," perhaps from Cuan, 
son of Conall, chieftain of Hy Fidh- 
gente, who was slain in the battle of 
Carn Conaill A.D. 649, {Tigh. 645, 
Four If.) Cathair Cuan is mentioned 
ch. Ixiv., p. 103, whence we infer that 
it was in Hy Fidhgente, co. of Lime- 
rick, B. of Rights, p. 67, n. 9, and 
that it was a fortress of Donnabhan, 
or Donovan, chieftain of the Hy 
Cairbhre Aebhda, as also lord of the 
Hy Fidhgente (see Geneal. Table, V., 
p. 249 infra'). Comp. also Four M. and 
Tighernach 976. 


Victories of 
the Danes. 

Battle of 
Tara, USO, 

FidhgeDte, in alliance with the Danes of Limerick, was 
defeated by Brian ; and we learn, from a subsequent men- 
tion of it in this work (see p. 103), that Donnabhain was 
slain at Cathair Cuan. 

The next chapter (xxxix.) records several battles in 
which the Danes of Dublin were victorious over the 
native chieftains. The first of these was a victory over 
Ugaire, son of Tuathal, king of Leinster, at Bithlann/ now 
Belan, in the south of the county of Kildare. Another 
battle, in the same year (where, "^ we are not told), was 
gained by them^ over the Cinel Conaill, of Tirconnell, 
county of Donegall ; in which Niall, grandson of Cannan- 
nan, king of the Cinel Conaill, and other chieftains'' fell. 

Two years after this, a more important battle was 
fought at Temhair, or Tara, against Maelsechlainn, or 
Malachy, son of Domhnall, who this same year (980) 
became king of Ireland. Our author admits that the 
victory gained by the Irish chieftain w^as dearly purchased. 
" It was woe," he says, " to both parties, but it was worse 
for the foreigners." They lost in the battle Ragnall, son 
of Amlaibh, or Olaf Cuaran, king of Dublin, and Conmael, 
son of Gille, whom our author calls " another^ high king 

1 Bithlann. This battle is dated 977 
or 978, Ann. Ult., and 976 [=978] 
Four M. In it fell Ugaire, king of 
Leinster ; Muiredach, son of Rian (or 
Brian, as Tighernach calls him), king 
of the Ui Ceinnselaigh (see Booh of 
Rights, p. 208, w.) ; and Congalach, 
son of Flann, king of Lege [now Lea, 
Queen's co.] and of Rechet, [or Magh- 
Rechet, now Morett, near Maiybo- 
rough, same co.] 

2 Where. The Four M., 976 (978), 
say that this was a naval battle on 
Loch Erne, gained by the Airghialla, 
or Oighialla, over the Cinel Conaill. 
So also Ann. Ult. 977 (978). But 
they were probably aided by the 

8% them: i.e., by the Danes of 
Dublin. But see p. 46, note *. 

* Other Chieftains. Niall, grandson 
of Cannanann, is not mentioned in the 
Annals ; but the Four M. record the 
death of his son, A.D. 996 ( = 998). 
See also Dr. O'Donovan's Hy Many. 
p. 335. " The son of the son of Con- 
galach," ought to be "son of Conga- 
lach," as in the MS. B., for the death 
of the grandson of Congalach, in the 
battleofCill-lMona, was recorded, chap. 
xxxviii. In like manner, "son of the 
son of Murchad Glun-fri-lar" ought to 
be "son of Murchad Glun-fri-lar," as 
in B. and the Four M. He was of 
the race of the Northern O'Neill, and 
Heir of Ailech." 

5 Another. The name Conmael, or 
Conamael, son of Gilli, is decidcdlv 
Celtic, and the MS. B. calls him simply 
Conmael, omitting the words " son of 



(^f the foreigners," together with " all the nobles of the 
foreigners" of Dublin. 

One of the most important consequences of this battle Conse- 
was that Amlaibh Cuaran, king of Dublin, leaving his ^^^^^^^^ 
authority to his son Sitric, quitted Ireland and went on battle, 
a pilgrimage to Hi Coluim-Cille, the celebrated monastic 
island, now corruptly called lona, where he died.' 
Another result of the battle was that the Danes were 
compelled to liberate all the hostages in their custody, 
and especially Domhnall Claon, king of Leinster, whom 
they had taken prisoner more than a year before. The 
annalist Tighernach, and after him the Four Masters, 
represent the liberation of this chieftain as the result of a 
second attack on the Danes of Dublin, in which Malachy, 
in conjunction with Eochaidh, son of Ardgall, king of 
Uladh,^ besieged Dublin for three days and three nights, 

Gilli, another high king of the foreign- 
ers.'' From the various spellings of 
this name in the Annals, there is reason 
to think that the true reading is pre- 
served in the Ann. Ult. " Conamhal 
mac Airrigall," which may mean either 
"son of Airegal," or "son of an Oirri [or 
sub-king] of foreigners." See note 15, 
p. 46, infra. He was in all probabi- 
lity a chieftain of the Gall-gaedhil of 
the isles, paying tribute to the Danish 
king of Dublin; for the Ann. Ult. and 
Four M. tell us that this battle was 
gained by King Malachy " against the 
foreigners of Dublin and of the isles," 
i.e. of the Sudreya, Isle of Man, &c. 
He may have been son of a Gille, for 
that name occurs among the chieftains 
of the Sudreys. (See Burnt Nial, ii. 
p. 322, and Index). Tighernach calls 
him Conmael Mac Gille airre, "son of 
Gille the sub-king." 

^ Died. The Four M. record his 
" going across the sea" here, and his 
death in Hi, "after penance and a 
good life," the year following. See 
Tlijhernach, 980. This Olaf is called 

Cuaran, or Olaf of the sandal, by the 
Irish Annalists; Kuaran, Kuoran, or 
Quaran, by the Sagas. See Landnama, 
p. 42; Fornmanna Soffur. I., p. 149; 
NiaVs Saga, p. 268 (cap. civ.) Lat. 
transL, p. 590; Laing's Kings of Nor- 
way, I., p. 399. Dr. Dasent translates 
the name " Olaf rattle,'' Burnt Niall, 
ii., 323; but Cuaran is an Irish word, 
signifying a sock, a sandal, a shoe 
fastened with thongs. Gyda, sister 
of Olaf Cuaran, was married to Olaf 
Tryggvasson, who met her in England, 
and afterwards took her to Ireland, 
living " sometimes in England, some- 
times in Ireland." — Laing, ubi supra, 
p. 400, 417. 

2 Uladh. See Reeves, Eccl Antiq., 
p. 352-6. Dr. O'Conor, in his trans- 
lation of the Annals of Tigernach in 
this place, renders '' Mor sluaiged" 
as if it had been written Mors 
Luaiged, and translates " Mors Lugadii 
occisi a Maelsechlanno." The true 
version of the passage is this — "A great 
host led by Maelsechlainn the Great, 
son of Domhnall, king of Tenihair, and 


and having reduced the garrison to submission, recovered 

the hostages, including Domhnall Claon. ' They compelled 

the enemy also to pay a fine of 2,000 oxen, and to release 

the Ui Neill from a tribute, which it seems had been 

imposed upon all their territory between the Shannon 

and the sea.^ 

Arrival of The next chapter (xl.) records the arrival of the sons of 

the sons of jyar in Limerick. They are described as coming in com- 

Liinerick. maiid of " an immensely great fleet, more wonderful than 

all the other fleets, for its equal or its likeness never 

before came to Ireland." 

Chronologically, however, this event is certainly out 
of its place in the narrative. The phrase " there came 
after that," with which this chapter begins, would natur- 
ally mean after the events recorded in the preceding 
chapter ; that is to say, after the battle of Tara, A.D. 980. 
But Ivar and his sons were settled at Limerick long- 
before that year, and it is remarkable that no mention 
either of the exact date of their arrival, or of the immense 
and wonderful fleet Avhich they are said to have brought 
with them, is found in the Irish Annals. 

The leaders of this fleet, we are told, were " Ivar,^ 
grandson of Ivar, chief king of the Gaill, and his three 
sons, Dubhcenn (or Black-head), Cu-allaidh (or Wild Dog), 

This event 
out of its 

Leaders of 
this fleet. 

by Eochaidh, son of Ardgall, king of 
Uladh, against the Gaill of Ath Cliath, 
and they besieged them three days 
and three nights, and took the hos- 
tages of Erinn from them, together 
with Domhnall Claon, king of Laighen, 
and with the hostages of the Ui Neill 
likewise. And they exacted submis- 
sion from the foreigners, i.e. an hundred 
score oxen, with jewels and goods, and 
the freedom of the Ui Neill from tri- 
bute also, from the Sionainn [Shannon] 
to the sea." Tighemach, A.D. 980. 
^ Domhnall Chon. Ourauthorspeaks 
of the " treacherous conduct" nf .\ni- 

laibh towards this chieftain ; what 
that was the editor is unable to explain. 

2 And the Sea: Le., from the Shan- 
non, across the present counties of West- 
meath and Meath, to the eastern sea. 

3 Tvar. The O'Clery or BrusseUs MS. 
(B), reads "Amlaibh mor ua Imhair," 
Amlaff or Olaf the Great, grandson 
of Ivar ; but this is evidently a clerical 
mistake, and the same MS., in another 
place, speaking of the death of this 
chieftain calls him Ivar, not Amlaff, 
Ch. Ixiv., p. 103. See also p. 71. 
There are other instances of these 
UMiiies lioiiig iiitorclian^-ed. 



nncl Aralt (or Harold.)"' They entrenched themselves on 
Inis Sibhtond, now King's Island, in the Shannon, upon 
which a part of the present city of Limerick is built. 
From this position they plundered all Munster, " both Their 
churches aud chieftaim'ies, exacting hostages, and levyino- oppression. 
black mail, under a well-organized system of tax-gatherers, 
who were distributed over the country and billeted in the 
houses of the inhabitants, " kings and chiefs, stewards 
and bailiffs, in ev«ry territory and in every chieftainry.'"-^ 
Of the excess of this oppression our author gives a 
pathetic and somewhat bombastic account, in .which the 
most important particular noticed is the imposition of a 
nose tax,^ in addition to the royal tribute, consisting of 
an ounce of silver or white bronze^ " for every nose ;" and 
whoever was unable to pay was sold as a slave. 

It may be doubted whether tliis glomng description 

1 Aralt {or Harold.) The Celtic 
names Dubhcenn and Cu-allaidh, 
were doubtless given by the Irish in 
accordance with their usual practice, 
as descriptive of the supposed peculi- 
arities of these chieftains. The annals 
mention Dubhcenn and Aralt, but 
substitute Amlaibh for Cu-allaidh 
(Four M. 975, Tigern, 977); which 
seems to indicate that Amlaff or Olaf 
was the Scandinavian name of this 
latter warrior. Perhaps he was the 
same as Olaf Cenncairech (scabby 
head), of Limerick, who gamed the 
battle of Dubhthir, near Athlone, in 
931 (933), over the Hy Many. He 
afterwards settled in Loch Ribh, from 
whence he was carried off prisoner by 
Olaf son of Godfrey, of Dublin, in 935 
(937). Four M. 

'■^ Chieftaini'i/. See p. 49, sq. 

3 Nose tax. An ounce of silver 
"for every nose" is probably only 
another way of saying "for everj' 
man." So in the poetical account of 
the Gaill of Dublin, attributed to St. 
Benen or Benignus, of Armagh, we 

read that the Gaill gave tribute to St. 
Patrick "a screapall for each man, an 
oimce of gold — an ounce for each nosp 
there — and a screapall of gold for each 
man." B. of Rights. -p- 229. So also 
Ynglinga Saga, c. 8 {Heimskr., p. 13, 
Havn., 1777). "Um alia Svethiod 
gulldu memi odni skattpenning fyrir 
nef hvert," which Mr. Laing translates 
"so much on each head," although it 
is literally everj' nose. The MS. B. 
adds that he who could not pay had 
the alternative of being sold as a slave, 
or losing his nose (see p. 50, n. 13). 
Keating improves upon this by telling 
us that the nose was immediately cur 
off, without any alternative ; but there 
is no authority for this. See Lexicon 
Poet. Ling. Septent. Sveinbjorn Egih- 
son. Hafn., 1860, voc. Nefgiold. 

* Silver or white bronze. This is 
the reading of B, The text reads 
"silver Findrum"(p. 51), in which 
phrase (which occurs again, p. 95), 
the word Findruine seems to be used 
as an adjective for well polished, orna- 
mented ((Iriii)ie signifies embi-oidered); 



was originally intended to apply solely to the policy 
pursued by the sons of Ivar of Limerick. If their arrival, 
as we have good reason to suspect, is an interpolation in 
this place, there will be nothing to limit the oppression 
spoken of to the Danes of Limerick;' and indeed, although 
the plunder of Munster is particularly mentioned, yet it 
is distinctly stated that the organization of a steward or 
bailiff, billeted on the principal chieftains and farmers of 
the country, extended to all Ireland.^ 

The foreio-ners of Limerick, by whom the Primate 
Forannan was carried oif to their ships fi-om Cluain Com- 
ardha,^ were Norwegians, or White Gentiles, not Danes. 

but usually Findrune is a substan- 
tive, and denotes a metal of some kind. 
In p. 115, it is mentioned among gold, 
silver, precious stones, taken as spoil 
from the Danes. It is the metal of 
■which "leg armour" was made (Battle 
of Mac/h Lena, p. 113), and the rim 
(conibil) of a shield, Skf:bed of 
CMcAwZai/iw (Atlantis, No. 3, p. 113). "A 
bed of Fuidruine," colg piii'Di\uine, 
i.e. a bedstead, or box made of this 
metal upon which a bed luight be 
laid, is mentioned in the Legend of 
Corcalaidhe, Miscell. Celtic Soc, p. 77, 
79. The word is also written pmn- 
liuiin {Petrie on Tara, p. 198), piiin- 
bTiuitne, and -pinnbiiuine, in which 
latter form it occurs in the Irish Ver- 
sion of the Bible to denote copper or 
brass, Ezra viii., 27; Rev. ii., 18. The 
Crozier of St. Aodh mac Brie was 
made of Finnbruine, which is glossed 
.1. pTVar "i-e. brass." Martyr. Doneg., 
Introd., p. xli. 

1 Limerick. See above, ch. xxxvi. 
Keating who quotes this passage (with 
some abridgement), understands it to 
refer to all Ireland, and places it in 
the times of Turgesius, to whom he 
attributes this organization of a sol- 
dier in every house, &c. O'Mahony's 
Transl., p. 507. In this he is fol- 
lowed by Lynch, MacGeoghegan, 

O'Halloran, Warner, Moore, and ail 
our modern historians. 

^ Ireland. The words "moreover 
he ordained," p. 49, line 13, are abrupt, 
and strongly indicate the loss of some- 
thing in the text; for the sentences 
preceding are in the plural " t/iet/ 
plundered," "í/íe^/ took hostages," 
"i/sey brought under indescribable op- 
pression ;" then comes a sudden change 
to the singular, without its being said 
who he was who ordained kings and 
chiefs, stewards and bailifíá, in every 
territory. The same thing is told of 
Turgesius. But it is remarliable tliaS 
the prophecies applied by our author 
to that chieftain (see p. 8-12), speak 
of "Black Gentiles of Dublin," and 
parties of "Danars of black ships." 
Therefore we may reasonably con- 
clude that the oppressions intended by 
those supposed predictions belong to' 
a later period than the times of Tur- 
gesius, when the Danars or Danes had 
established tlieir power in Dublin and 

3 Cluain Comai'dha. "Lawn of the 
Sig^ or Token." Dr. Reeves has re- 
cently identified this place with Col- 
man's well, a village in the barony of 
Upper Connello, in the southern border 
of the countv of Limerick. 



They were in possession in the times of Turgesius, that is 
to say, prior to the year 845. But Ivar, grandson of Ivai", 
seems to have been of the Black Gentiles, or Danes ; and 
althouofh the exact date of his arrival is not recorded in our 
annals, he is spoken of as being chieftain of the Gaill of 
Limerick, in 930, so that he must have landed with his sons 
before that year.' Therefore the paragraph at the beginning 
of chap, xl., which records his arrival at Limerick, has been 
misplaced. It ought perhaps to have been inserted in con- 
nexion with the arrival of the "immense fleet" which 
came with Tamar Mac Elgi, as we have seen,^ about the 
year 922. Indeed it is probable that Tamar's fleet acted 
in conjunction with the fleet of Ivar and his sons, for 
both occupied Inis Sibhtonn, and we read of no conflict or 
jealousy between them on the arrival of the latter party. 
Tamar or Tomar mac Elo-i however, seems to have been 
chieftain of the Limerick Danes for two or three years^ 
only, and was succeeded apparently by the dynasty of Ivar 
and his sons, in or about the year 930. 

1 That Year. The Four M., at 928, 
929 (=A.D. 930, 931), tell us that 
the grandson of Ivar was encamped in 
command of the foreigners of Limerick, 
at Magh Roighne, a plain in Ossory, 
whither Godfrey of Dublin went in 
the last mentioned year to displace 
him. la 963 (967) Mathgamhain, 
ur Mahoun, brother of the celebrated 
Brian Borumha, gains a victory over 
the Gaill of Limerick, and phmders 
their stronghold, Inis Sibhtonn ; in 
969 (971) he drives them from Inis 
.Sibhtonn, altogether. They then took 
refuge in the other islands of the 
.Shannon, making their stronghold in 
Inis Cathaigh (now Scattery Island, 
at the mouth of the Shannon), where, 
notwithstanding the sanctity of the 
place, Ivar and his sons, Olaf and 
Dubhcenn, were attacked by Brian 
in 977 (4 Mast, and Tigern.), or by 
his allies the O'Donni'l!-; of Purea- 

bhaiscinn (p. 103). The death of Ivar 
and his sons is recorded by our author 
(chap. Ixiv.), at a date which corre- 
sponds to A.D. 977, 978. So that 
Ivar's career was quite run out before 
the battle of Tara. 

^ We have seen. See chap, xxxiii. 
p. 39, and p. xciii., supra. 

* Tioo or three years. In 922 the 
fleet of Limerick, commanded by Mac 
Ailgi, was on Loch Ri, and plundered 
Clonmacnois and the islands of the 
Lake. In 923 or 924 Godfrey, grand- 
son of Ivar, came from Dublin to attack 
the Limerick foreigners, and a great 
number of his people were slain by 
Mac Ailgi. In 927 or 928 Mac Ailgi 
had his fleet on Loch Neagh when he 
plundered the islands and the surround- 
ing country. These notices occur in 
the Ann. of Ulster. Dr. O'Donovan 
(Book of Rights, Intr., p. xli.) quotes 
from the Annals of rionmacnois. iindi t 


The ^eat It is remarkable that our author, notwithstanding the 
superiority bittemess of his lamentation over the success of the 

of the . , . 

Danes. victors, and the iron rigour of then' rule, gives them, 
without reserve, the praise of valour ; he admits that the 
Irish kings and chieftains, with i\}l their heroism, were 
unable to cope with the strangers, the superiority of 
whose arms, defensive and offensive, together with " the 
greatness of their achievements and deeds, their bravery, 
their valour, their strength, their venom, and their 
ferocity,"' rendered them invincible to the feebler powers 
and inferior numbers of the Irish ; especially, he adds, as 
they were animated by an " excess of thirst and hunger" 
for the bays, rivers, cataracts, the fruitful smooth plains, 
and sweet grassy land of Ireland. 
The Cianna g^^it, this distinct admission of the invincible prowess of 
or Dal the enemy, and the superioiity of their armour and dis- 
Cais. cipline, seems only intended to enhance the author's 

panegyric upon his own tribe and its chieftains, by whose 
valour and perseverance the power of the enemy was 
ultimately undermined. These were the Cianna Luigh- 
(lech, or descendants of Lughaidh Menn,^ son of Aongus 
Tirech, of the race of OilioU Olum, the celebrated king of 
Munster in the third century. They were otherwise 
called Dal Cais Borumha, or race of Cas mac Tail, 
grandson of Lughaidh, called Borumha,^ some say from 
the name of a village near Killaloe. They were one 
uf the two pillars of nobility, one of two houses — (the 


the year 922, the following notice of j Ailgi, and to have succeeded to the 

liis death : "Tomrair mac Ailchi, king command of the Limerick garrison. 

of Denmark, is reported to have gone ^ Ferocity. See p. 53. 

to hell with his pains, as he deserved." ^ Lughaidh Menu. See p. 53, and 

The date, however, is probably wrong, note 14; also Geneal. Table III., No. 

being the date of his arrival in Ireland, , 5, p. 247. 

not that of his death. He is not men- i ^Borumha. Beal Borumha " Pass of 

tioned in the annals after 928, and it [ Boiamh," or Ath na Borumha, "Ford 

is remarkable that in 930, Ivar, grand- 
son of Ivar, is first named as leader of 
the Gaill of Limerick ; so that Ivar 
appears to have arrived inimodiately 

of the Bornmh." See Dr. O'Brien's 
Irish Diet., in voc. Others derive the 
name Borumh from the celebrated 
Borumean or cow tribute of Leinster, 

uiter, or j\i-t before tlie denth .j| Mac ; restored Hy Brian. Fi<itr .]f. A.D. lOf! 



Eoghanachts of CasheP being the other) — by whom wore 
sustained " the rule and sovereignty of Ireland." But the Their pre- 
Clanna Luighdech, we are told, excelled all other tribes *""'"^"'^®' 
in Ireland ; "as a bright watch tower shining above all 
other lights of the earth ; as a clear fountain, or a spark- 
iing fire, excels the lustre of the most brilliant gems; as 
the bright sun outshines the noblest stars of the sky and 

The privileges and prerogatives of this illustrious tribe Their pre- 
iire then described. They were exempt from all taxes, ^' 
liostages, rents, and fees to the king of Cashel, or any 
other chieftain, "so lono; as Erinn^ was not theirs." 
They were bound in honour to defend the king of Cashel 
against aggression, and to support his rights against the 
claims of Leth Cuinn, the Northern half of Ireland, that 
is to say, against the chief kings of Ireland, or of Tara, 
who were of the O'Neill race, and whose sovereignty 
over Munster was disputed by the descendants of OilioU 
Olum. The Dal Cais were privileged to take the place 
of honour in war, that is to say, to occupy the van in 
entering an enemy's country, and to guard the rere in a 
retreat.'' They had " an alternate right to Cashel," that is, Their 
the kings of Cashel were to be chosen in alternate sue- ^^'f "f"^^ 

. ' (. right to 

cession from the descendants of Eoghan Mor and Cormac Cashel. 
Cas, of which last race the Dal Cais of Thomond were the 

).. 100, and A.D. 696, note p. 298-9. 
The name of Dal Cais is commonly 
derived from their more remote an- 
cestor Cormac Cas, son of Olioll Olum 
(see Geneal. Table III., No. 2). But 
if so the name would have belonged 
to many tribes besides the race of 
I.ughaidh. Cas mac Tail (see Geneal. 
Table III., No. 8, p. 247) is called by 
O'Flaherty "Dalcassiorum stirps," or 
ancestor of the Dal Cais of Thomond. 

Ogyg--, p- 386. 

1 Eoghanachts of Cashel. See Geneal. 
Table IV., p. 248. This tribe was 
descended and had its name from 
Ivigban Mor. Fon cf Oiliull Olnm. 

2 Firmament, See p. 55. 

3 Erinn. Perhaps we should read 
"so long as Cashel was not theirs," 
i.e. when the king of Cashel was of 
the Eugenian and not of the Dal Cas- 
sian race. But our author probably 
intended to insinuate that the king of 
Cashel was dejure king of Ireland, and 
that to be king of Cashel was virtually 
to be king of Ireland. 

^ Retreat. See these privileges in 
the Book of Rights, viz. : exemption 
from tribute to Cashel, pp. 63-67 ; the 
place of honor at feasts and in war, 
pp. 69, 71, 81. 

// -1 



most celebrated. This was in accordance with the will of 
Oilioll Olum,' the father of Eoghan and Connac Cas, who 
is said to have imposed this rule upon his posterity, a rule 
which proved a perpetual source of discord,^ and was very 
irregularly observed. Two bardic poems in support of 
these privileges of the Dal-Cais are then quoted, one 
attributed to the famous Cormac, son of Cuilennan,^ king 
and bishop of Cashel, who was slain at the beginning of 
the tenth century ; and the other to Cuan O'Lochain,'* 

1 Oilioll Olum. See Book of Rights, 
p. 72, n. ffFlaherty Ogyg., p. 326. In 
Vallaneey's Collectanea de rebus Hiber- 
nicis, vol. I., Nos. 3 and 4, the reader 
will tind an able dissertatinn on the 
law of Tanistry, or alternate succes- 
sion, which in part 4 is illustrated by 
the ease of the alternate succession to 
the throne of Munster, in the Eoghan- 
acht and Dal Cassian descendants of 
Oilioll Olum. See p. 236, n. 

2 Discord. The discord is continued 
in the pens of the historians; the 
authors of the Eoghanacht race ignore 
;ill the kings of the Dal-Cais ; and the 
DalCassian chieftains, from the su- 
perior power of their rivals, seem to 
have, in fact, enjoyed very little more 
than their own hereditary territory, 
with the empty claim to the sovereignty 
of Munster, under the will of Oilioll 
Olum. See Dr. O'Brien's remarks on 
this subject. Vallaneey's Collect, ibid., 
p. 441, sq. 469-476. Verj- few kings of 
Munster, of the Dal-Cassian race are on 
record, and even of these, it is probable 
that some were in fact only lords of 
Thomond, and are styled kings of 
Munster by writers of their own clann 
only. See O'Curry's Lectures, p. 213. 
Keating {reign of Flann Sionna), 
Qi'Mahony's Transl., p. 520. 

8 Cormac son of Cuilennan. He was 
of the Eoglianacht or Eugenian race, 
descended from Aongu*. son of Nat- 

fraieh (see Table IV., No. 7, p: 248.) 
His descent, as given by the books of 
Leinster and Lecan, is as follows: s. of 
Cuilennan, s. of Selbach, s. of Algenan, 
s. of Eochadh, s. of Colman, s. of 
Donnchadh, s. of Dubhinrecht, s. of 
Furudhran, s. of Eochadh, s. of Bresail, 
s. of Aongus. He was slain in 908 
(Four M.), 920 (Ann. Ult), at the battle 
of Belach Mughna, in Magh Aillilie 
(now Ballaghmoon-bridge, in the S. of 
the CO. Kildare, about halfway between 
Castledermot and Carlow). Keating- 
relates a curious anecdote to the effect 
that when his own tribe, the Eoghan- 
acht of Cashel, refused him food and 
treasure for the celebration of Easter, 
Cormac was liberally supplied by the 
Dal-Cais, both being equally free from 
any legal obligation to pay him tributf. 
OWIahony's Transl., p. 520. This may 
account for his favourable recognition 
of the rights of the Dal-Cais,in the verses 
quoted by our author, if indeed they 
are really his. which may be doubted. 
* O'Lochain. See above, p. xxv., 
n. 2. He was murdered, A.D. 1024, 
in Tebhtha, or TefEa, an extensive 
district in the N.W. of the ancient 
province of Meath. See B. of Bights. 
p. II, n.. 180, n. The family of 
O'Lochain were chieftains of Gailenga, 
a part of Teffia, now represented .by 
the baronies of Morgallion, co. of 
Me«th, and Clankee, iu the co. of 



" chief poet of Eriiin and Alba" (Ireland and Scotland), in 
the times of Brian Borumha. 

We have next (ch. xlv.) the genealogy' of Brian and his Genealogy 
elder brother Mathgamhain, who are described in bom- ^^ ^"^.n. 
Imstic language as the two fierce, magnificent heroes, the 
two stout, able, valiant pillars, who then governed the 
Dalcassian tribe ; Mathgamhain, in \'irtue of his seniority, 
being the actual chieftain, and Brian his destined successor 
or heir apparent. These great heroes resolved to submit no 
longer to the oppression and tyi'amiy of the foreign in- 
vaders ; they transported their people and chattels across 
the Shannon, westwards, where they dispersed themselves 
in the forests and woods of the country.^ 

A harassing war of skirmishing in the woods of Tho- Matiiganiii- 
inond^ was then carried on for some time with the for- l'"' '^^-'^^ 


eigners, in which no quarter was given on either side, warfare, 
f(jr " there was no termonn or protection from the foreign- "jypg^ ^ 
ers, and it was woe to either party to meet the other."* 

Cavan. He was therefore murdered 
by his own kinsmen, which made the 
deed more heinous. See 4 M. The Ui 
Lochain were descended from Cormac 
Oaileng, son of Tadhg, son of Cian, son 
of OilioU Olum, and therefore were of 
the same great Munster family as the 
Dal-Cais. See Curry's Battle of Magh 
Leana, p. 175. 

1 Genealogy. See Table III., p. 247. 
IMathgamhain, as has been alreadj' 
remarked, is pronounced Mahoon. 

2 Of the country. Our author says, p. 
59 " in the woods of the three tribe-» 
(macni), that were there," or perhaps 
we should translate "the three Maicnes 
that were there." These were the de- 
scendants of Conmac, son of Fergus 
Rogius and Slaud, queen of Connacht. 
Three tribes of the Conmaicne were 
settled west of the Shannon, viz. : Con- 
maicne-Cuile-tola, now the barony of 
Kiimaine, co. of Mayo; Conmaicne 

Dunmor, N. of the co. of Galway, and 
Conmaicne mara (the Conmaicne of 
the sea), now Conemara. A fourth 
tribe of the same race was settled in 
the cos. of Longford and Leitrim. 
0' Flaherty, Ogyg., p. 275. The Brus- 
sels MS. B. reads "the three Uaithne" 
instead of Macni. But the districts 
called Uaithne. were S. of the Shan- 
non. They are now the baronies of 
Uaithne or Owney-beg, in Limerick, 
and Owney and Aira in Tipperary. 
B. of Eights, p. 46, n. Tliere are only 
two districts called Uaithne, and "the 
three Maicni^s'' is certainly the true 

s Thomond. The district of Thomond 
(which is the anglicized pronunciation 
of Tuath-mumhain "North Munster,") 
is represented nearly by the present 
county of Clare. See O'Donovan's 
note, Book of Rights, p. 260. 

* Tht other. See p. 59. 



the war. 

At length tired out with this kind of warfare, Mathgamh- 
ain made a temporary truce with the enemy. 

Brian, however, refused to join in this truce. He 
returned to the forests of Thomond, and continued to 
carry on the same sort of guerilla warfare from the deserts 
and caves of Ui-mBloit.' He laid waste the country 
fi'om Loch Derg Dheirc to the river Fergus, and from 
Sliabh-mEchti^ to Tratraighe or Tradiy.^ This latter 
place was fixed upon by the foreigners of Thomond, or 
North Munster, as the head quarters of their troops ; they 
fortified Tratraighe with earthworks, and filled it with a 
strong garrison, in order to conquer from thence Tho- 
mond, or the present county of Clare, and Ui Conaill,^ or 
Connello, south of the Shannon, in the county of Limerick. 
Between this garrison and Brian's followers perpetual, 
skirmishes and mutual annoyances were kept up, until 
Brian was driven to the greatest extremities, and at 
length he found his army reduced to fifteen men.'' 

1 Ui-mBhit. The region inhabited 
by the Ui-mBloit, the decendants of 
Bloit, Blait, or Blod, son of Cas mac 
Tail, ancestor of the Dal-Cais of Tho- 
mond (see Table III., No. 9, p. 247). 
This district is in the co. of Clare, 
N.E. of the diocese of KiUaloe, and 
the name is preserved in that of the 
rural deanen,' of Omelode or Omulled. 
Liber. Reg. Visifnt, 1619. Fonr J/., 
A.D. 1598, p. 2088, note b. 

^Sliahh-mEchti. Now SlieveBaughta, 
or the Boughta mountains in the co. of 
Galway, on the borders of Clare. For- 
gus, now Fergus, is a river which rises 
in the N. of the barony of Inchiquin, co. 
of Clare, flowing by the toAvn of Ennis, 
and falls into the Sliamion below the 
village of Clare. 

3 Tradry. See p. xli., n. *. Tra- 
traighe was originally the district 
round the town and Castle of Bun- 
ratty. It is curious that the English 
adventurer, Thomas dt Clare, in 1277, 

selected this place as his militarj- head 
quarters, and built the Castle of Bun- 
ratty, with the same object in view 
which the Danes had when they for- 
tified themselves in the same spot, 
namely, the conquest of Thomond. 

^ Ui ConaiU. The country' inha- 
bited by the Ui Conaill Gabhra, or 
descendants of Conall Gabhra. (Tab. 
v., No. 10, p. 249.) It is now re- 
presented by the baronies of Upper 
and Lower Connello, together with 
the present baronies of Shanid and 
Glenquin. See B. of Rights, p. 76, n. 
Comp. p.'lxxxv. and note, p. 31. 
See also p. xli. supra. 

5 Fifteen men. Our author qualific ■■■ 
this statement by "historians say," 
or, according to the reading of B., 
" there are historians who say." This 
does not imply that historiang, in the 
more dignified sense of the word, hail 
already begun to preserve a formal 
record of these events. The Irish 



Hearing of his brother's disasters, Mathgamhain sent to 
him to request an interview. When they met, Brian re- 
proached Mathgamhain for having made a truce with the 
enemy. An interpolation in the O'Clery or Brussels 
MS. gives a poetical dialogue between the two brothers, 
in which Matho-amhain^ asks the cause of Brian's coming 
almost alone, and where he had left his followers. Brian 
answers that he had left them on the field of battle, cut 
down by the foreigners ; that they had followed him in 
hardship over every plain, — "not," he adds, "like thy 
people," who had remained inactive at home. He then 
gives a short account of his exploits, and concludes by 
the reproach that neither Cemiedigh, their father, nor 
Lorcan, their grandfather, for the sake of ivea/th, would 
have been so quiescent towards the foreigners. This 
seems to intimate that Mathgamhain's " quiescence" had 
arisen from some interested motive, an interp]-etation 
which is confirmed by Mathgamhain's answer — 

" This is pride, O brave Brian, 
Thy mind does not consider consequences ; 
Thy care and thoughts are tiot on wealth, 
And yet methinks thou art alone." 

In other words, " pride has made thee despise all prudent 
considerations, and what hast thou gained by it, since 
here thou art now without followers, and alone ?"- 

account of 

with Brian. 

Sencaidh^ or Shanachy, which, for want 
■of a better word, we translate historian, 
was an officer attached to great fami- 
lies. He itinerated among the claw, 
relating the deeds of his chieftain, and 
sometimes, but not always, committing 
them to writing. AVe are not, there- 
fore, to infer that any great length of 
time was necessary between the events 
themselves and their being recorded 
by such " historians." 

1 Mathgamhain. This poetical ac- 
Tount of the conversation is attributed 
to Mathgamhain himself. 

2 Alone. See ch. xlvi., pp. 62-6.5. 

One or two remarks are necessary 
upon this poem. In ver. 1. Brian is 
called " Brian of Banha,'" i.e. of Ire- 
land, Banba being one of the poeti- 
cal names of Ireland ; see Keating, 
0''Mahony's TransL, Book I., ch. i., 
p. 79, sq. Craig Liath (Grey-stone), 
now Craig-lea, or Carrick-lee, is a re- 
markable rock near Killaloe, celebrated 
in Irish fairy lore as the dwelling 
place of Aoihhinn (incorrectly Aoibh- 
ill), the Banshee or family sprite of the 
Dal-Cais, especially of the O'Briens ; 
see Feis Tighe Chonain, edited by Mr. 
Nicholas O'Kearney (Ofglanic ó'oc), 



account of 
the same. 

Then follows (cli. xlvii.) a prose account of the same 
interview between the brothers, which, although in some 
places probably interpolated, is doubtless the narrative of 
the original author, and the source from which the poetical 
dialogue was taken. Brian reproaches Mathgamhain for 
having made peace with the foreigners. He asserts that 
their common grandfather, Lorcan, son of Lachtna, would 
never have made such a truce, seeing that he had denied 
it^ to his own countrymen, Maelseachlainn, son of Mael- 
ruanaidh, king of Ireland, and to the five provinces^ of 

1855, p. 188, n, and comp. the editor's 
Introd., p. 98, sq. Perhaps Brian's 
answer, " I have left them on Craig 
Liath," may signify " I have left 
them in the other world — the world 
of fairies and spirits." The names of 
several Danish chieftains s^^ain by 
Brian are mentioned: Birnn (Biorn); 
Edoun, or Eodunn (Audmm) ; Eliiis 
(possibly Eylifr) ; and Elgim (per- 
haps Helgi) ; we do not, however, 
meet these names elsewhere in the 
present work. Bréintir is a district in 
the CO. of Clare, near Slieve Callan, or 
Cullane, about five miles E. of INIiUto-wTi 
Malbay. It is called Breintir nibuain, 
durable, or everlasting, from its moun- 
tainous and rocky character. 

1 Denied it. The words Tjarunn 
and -oacilt, translated "submission 
and tribute," p. io&, ought, perhaps, 
to have been rendered '" protection 
and delay," meaning a delay of hosti- 
lities, and protection during the truce. 
T)ix)in, or •Di'Deun, signifies protec- 
tion, shelter ; and "oaciLL, also written 
TiuSh, is delay, respite. The general 
meaning of the passage certainly is, 
that he who refused all truce or com- 
promise with his own countrymen, 
when they invaded his territory, would 
never have made peace with a foreign 
enemy, who had taken forcible posses- 
sion of the country. 

^ Five provinces. It will be recol- 

lected that the ancient Meath wa 
originally one of the provinces of Ire 
land ; OTlaherty, Ogygia, pp. 24, 25, 
304. Our author's chronology is here 
greatly at fault, if, indeed, as is most 
probable, the mistakes are not rather 
to be attributed to his transcribers 
and inteqiolators. Lorcan, son of 
Lachtna, grandfather of Brian, could 
not possibly have been a contempo- 
rary of Maelseachlainn, son of Mael- 
ruanaidh, or Malachy I., who died in 
86.3. Brian was born, according to 
the Four M., in 925, or, according to 
the more probable date of the Annals 
of Ulster, in 941. Allowing 30 years 
to a generation, this would give 865 
as the year of Lorean's birth, or, if 
we adopt the later date of Brian's 
birth, 881. In neither case could 
Lorcan have had any warfare with 
Malachy I. ; and it is equally im- 
possible that Malachy II. car. be in- 
tended, for he began his reign in 980. 
at which time, Lorcan, if living, 
would have been at least 100 years 
old. Perhaps we should read (p. 67), 
" He who gave not submission or tri- 
bute to [the son of] Maelseachlainn, 
son of Maelruanaidh," meaning Flann 
Sionna, who reigned from 879 to 916. 
Keating represents Lorcan as contem- 
poraiy with Comiac mac Cuilennain, 
who was slain in 908. or, according 
to the Annals of Ulster, in 920. Ac- 



Ireland, and would not grant them a truce, not even for 
as mvich time " as w^ould have sufficed to play a game of 
chess on the green of Magh Adliair;"' neither would he 
allow the seven gi'eat battalions four days and four 
nights to burn Ath U Doghair. He appeals also to his 

cording to Keating, Cormac, fore- 
seeing his death, designated Lorcan 
mac Lachtna his successor, on the 
ground that the Dal-Cais had never 
had their lawful turns of sovereignty, 
according to the will of OilioU Olum. 
O'Mahonifs Trans., p. 323. Lorcan, 
it is needless to say, was "king" of 
Thomond only, and never succeeded 
to the throne of Munster ; but another 
Lorcan, son of Conligan, of an allied 
tribe (the Hi Failbhe) of the Eogha- 
nacht branch, became king of Munster 
in 920 (=922), according to the 
Four M. (See above, p. xciii., and 
note 2.) He is not included, however, 
in O'Dubhagain's poetical list of the 
kings of Munster, although that is 
an Eoghanacht account. The chron- 
ology and order of succession of the 
Munster chieftains at this period is 
very confused and imperfect. See 
App. B., p. 24L 

1 Magh Adhair. This was the cele- 
brated plain in which is still to be seen 
the mound where the chieftains of the 
Dal Cais were inaugurated under an 
ancient tree (bite). This tree was 
uprooted by King Maelseachlainn, or 
Malachy IL, in 982 (Jigh), in con- 
tempt of the Dal Cais. Magh ArUiair 
was first identified by Dr. O'Donovau; 
it is situated about four miles "W. f 
Tulla, in the co. of Clare. See Circuit 
of Muircheartach, p. 47, Four M., 981, 
n. <*, p. 714. Dr. O'Conor, in Tigker- 
nach (loc. cit.), spells this name Magh- 
hadrad, and translates it Campus 
Adorationis. In his Four M. (loc. cit.) 
he spells it correctly, Magh Adhair, 
but retains his former translation. 

The Irish traditions derive the name 
from Adliar, son of Umor, a chieftain 
of the Fir Bolgs, who had settled in 
the present counties of Clare and Gal- 
way before the aiTÍval of the Milesians 
in Ireland. See O'Donovan's note >■, 
Fonr M., 1599, p. 2104. 

The singular mode of describing a 
short time as " the time necessary for 
playing one game of chess on the green 
of Magh Adhair," is probably an allu- 
sion to an invasion of the Dal Cassian 
territory by Flann Sionna, monarch 
of Ireland, during the reign of Lorcan, 
son of Lachtna, king of Thomond. 
Flann having encamped on the plain 
of IMagh Adhair, ostentatiously com- 
menced a game of chess A\ith hi» 
courtiers to show his security, and as 
a mark of contempt for the chieftains 
of the countrj*. But he was soon sur- 
prised and ignominiously defeated in 
an action which lasted for three days. 
This stoiy is told by Dr. O'Brien, from 
what he calls the Book of Munster, 
Vallancey's Collect., vol. i., p. 450. It 
is probable that the allusion to Ath U 
Doghair relates to the same transac- 
tion. Flann Sionna was kept too hotly 
engaged for the three or four days of 
the battle— (the MS. B. has three dayi' 
and four nights) — to have time to 
burn Ath U Doghair — the name sig- 
nifies Ford of U, or Ui, Doghair; some 
now obscure and forgotten family ol 
the district. The place has not been 
identified. The seven great families of 
Connaught, here called "the seven great 
battalions," are enumerated by O'Fla- 
herty, Ogyg., p. 175; and see West 
Connaught, by Hardiman, p. 125, sq. 


more remote ancestors, Lugaidh Memi and Core. The 
former of these had never yielded " even the leveret of a 
hare" to the tribe of Tlaman Tuathbil," and treated wáth 
contempt the three battalions^ of Connaught, until he 
had gained seven battles over them, killed seven of their 
kincjs.^and driven them fromCarn Feradaich to Ath Lucait, 
that is to say, from the present comities of Limerick and 
Clare.'' Core is described as the first man,'^ that is the first 

1 Tluman Tvathhil. O'Dubhagain, 
in his Topographical Poem, mentiouf! 
the Muiiitir Tlamain, or Cinel Tlamnin, 
as a tribe seated somewhere in West- 
meath; but the exact seat of their 
territory is unknown. In one place 
Mag-Aedha (or Magee) is mentioned 
as their chieftain, and his branch of 
the territory seems to have been a 
part of Teffia; (Topogr. Poems, pp. 
.S, 11.) In another place {ibid., p. 13), 
O'Muireadhaigh, or IMurray, is spoken 
of as tlieir chieftain, and his territory 
as part of Corca-Adhamh, now in- 
cluded in the barony Magheradernon, 
CO. of Westmoath. This tribe was 
descended from Tlaman, whose pedi- 
gree is given in fifteen generations from 
Niall of the Nine Hostages ; Booh of 
Lecan, fol. 69, b. b. ; 3PFirbis Gene- 
alogies, p. 176. The Muintir Tlamain 
were allied to the tribes of Connaught ; 
but it is not easy to explain why they 
are called Tuathbil. The word is pro- 
bably inaccurately written, and may 
have been meant to signify northerly 
or northwards; if so, the Muintir 
Tlaman may have been divided into 
north and south. Mr. W. M. Hennessy 
suggests that the meaning of the pas- 
sage may be this : " Lugaidh Menn 
guarded his territory so well that he 
never allowed so much as the leveret 
of a hare to go northwards (cucrébiL) 
to the Sil Tlaman," But the text is 
certainly corrupt. Lugadh Menu lived 
about A.U. 300. 

2 TItree battalions. Alluding to the 
tripartite division of Connaught by its 
first inhabitants, the Damnonii, a tribe 
of the Fir Bolg, or Belgians. See 
O'Flaherty, Ogyg., p. 175, 269; Keat- 
ing {O^Mahonifs Ti-ansl.), p. 89, 265. 

3 Kings. This story of seven battles 
and seven kings looks very unlike 
authentic history ; but it is given by 
Dr. O'Brien from his " Book of Mun- 
ster." {Vallancey, Collect, i., p. 431.) 
The M.S. B. has "so that he killed 
their king,'' which seems more pro- 
bable. See p. 66, n. ^. 

•• Clare. Carn Feradaich, according 
to Dr. O'Donovan, is a Carn on the 
mountain of Seeiin, S.W. of Kilmal- 
lock, on the confines of the counties of 
Limerick and Cork ; but Dr. O Brien 
says that Carn Feradaich is Knock- 
Aine, in Limerick ; Vallancey, Collect. 
i., p. 432. Ath Lucait (now Locliid 
Bridge) is in the north of the barony 
of Inchiquin, parish of Kilkeedy, co. 
of Clare. Thomond was originally 
part of Connaught, although south of 
the line from Galway to Dublin whicli 
separated Leth Mogha from Leth 
Cuinn. As being in Leth Mogha, it was 
claimed by the Dal-Cais, and forcibly 
taken from the Connaught tribes by 
Lugaidh Menn. SeeO'Flaherty, Ogyg. 
(iii., 82), p. 386. 

5 The Jirst man This shows that 
Core, son of Anluan, great grandfather 
of Cenneideigh, or Kennedy, the father 
of Brian, must have been intended, for 



of the Dal-Cais, who routed the foreigners ; " the man 
also who fouo-ht eio-ht battles in defence of Munster, and 
of Legh Mogha (the southern half of Ireland) in general." 
This was not the man to brook an insult, or make an 
inglorious tmce with the enemy, as Mathgamhain hail 

Mathgamhain's answer was remarkable for its moder- Mathgam- 
ation. He admitted the truth of what Brian had said ; ^^"^'^ 

. . . answer. 

but added, not without some spice of satire, that seeing 
the superiority of the enemy, in numbers and in arms, he 
saw no advantao-e in leadings his followers to certain des- 
truction, as Brian had done. 

Brian replied that he had followed the example of his Brian's 
ancestors in sacrificing everything; risking his life and the '^P^^* 
extermination of his clan, rather than submit to insult or 
contempt from an enemy. But his ancestors had never 
set him the example, which Mathgamhain's conduct had 
sanctioned, of abandoning their inheritance, without a 
contest, to " dark foreigners and black grim Gentiles." 

The immediate result of this conference was that Math- The tribe 
i-amhain assembled the tribe, and haATJio- stated the case, ^^^°^'''^ ''" 
put it to them whether they would have peace or war. The 
unanimous voice was for war ; and they marched at once 
(ch. xlix.) into the coimtry of the Eoghanacht, the present 
county of Keny, then occupied by the enemy. Tlie 
Eoghanacht, or native tribes of the country, as well as the 
Muscraighe,' joined the Dalcassian standard, from Dun- 

he lived at the time -when the Scandi- 
na^^an fleets frst made their appear- 
ance on the coasts of Ireland. See 
note, p. 66, and p. xxxiii., n. ~. 
The words " Core, son of Cas, son of 
Ailioll Oluim,'' in the text are there- 
fore corrupt. They do not occur in 
the MS. B., and are probably the 
marginal note, of some ill-informed 
reader or transcriber, af tenvards copied 
into the text. The Annals presers-e 
no record of the c'^ht battles here 

spoken of. The number may or ma^- 
not be correct. 

1 Muscraiffhe. This tribe were the 
descendants of Cairbre Muse, king of 
Ireland in the third century. Their 
territorj' is represented by the present 
baronies of East and West Muskerrj-, 
CO. of Cork; and by those of Clau- 
wiUiam and Upper and Lower Ormond, 
CO. of Tipperary. See p. Ixxi., n. \ 
And there were also other districts 
called Muicraighe. 



The Danes 
invade the 

na-Sciath' to Belach Accailli. Mathgamhain [jjron. 
Mahoun] succeeded in obtaining possession of Cashel, 
and encamped at Dun Cuirc^ the year after the death of 
Donnchadh, son of Cellachan, king of Cashel. 

In this expedition the settlements of the enemy in every 
part of Munster were plundered with great slaughter. 

This aroused the Limerick Danes. Ivar resolved to 
carry the war into the Dalcassian country, and to exter- 
minate that tribe, as the only means of recovering his 
power. There were still native chieftains and clans who 
adhered to the Danish d^masty, and were ready to follow 
the standard of Ivar rather than submit to the rule of 
the Dal-Cais. " The great muster and hosting of the 
men of Munster, both Gaill and Gaedhil," follow^ed the 
summons given them by the Limerick Viking, and they 
came together to the appointed place anxious to depopulate 
Dal-Cais " so that there should not be of them a man to 
guide a horse's head over a channel, or an abbat or vene- 
rable ecclesiastic in all Munster, who was not made subject 
to the foreigners within the four points of Munster." 

' Dun-na-Sciath. " Fort of the 
Shields," a fort which gave its name to 
the present townland of Donaskeagh, 
in the parish of Rathlynin, barony of 
rianwilliam, co. of Tipperarj'. Belach 
Accailli (road of Accaill) is probably 
a corrupt spelling. Dr. O'Donovan 
conjectured that it ought to be Belach 
Eochaille, the ancient name of the 
road from Lismore to Eochaill, now 
Youghal. Four M., 287. 

2 Dun Cuirc. " The fortress of 
Core," a fort at Cashel (and indeed 
a name of Cashel itself), from Conaill 
Core, king of Munster, son of Olioll 
Flanbeg, who first selected Cashel as 
the royal fortress of Munster. O'Fla- 
herty, Ogyg-, p- 382. This seems to 
imply that Mathgamhain on this oc- 

casion became king of Cashel ; the 
author of the List of Kings (ch. ii.) 
having already set down Donnchadh, 
son of Cellachan, as his immediate 
predecessor. This would give 964 as 
the date of Mathgamhain's accession ; 
for Donnchadh died in 9G3 (961, /owr 
3/.) If it be a mistake that Donn- 
chadh was king of Munster, as we 
have endeavoured to show (App. B., 
pp. 239, 240), there must have been a 
short interregnum after the murder of 
Fergraidh (who was slain by his own 
people), 961 to 963. Probably dur- 
ing that time Donnchad and Math- 
gamhain had both claimed the throne, 
each being considered king by his 
own followers. 



Some of the chieftains who resisted this movement, and 
declared themselves in favour of the Dal-Cais, were put to 
death' by Ivar and his followers (chap. 1.) ; but Maolmuadh 
[pron. Molloy], son of Bran, king of Desmond, and Donn- 
abhan [pron. Donovan], son of Cathal, king of Ui 
Cairbhri,^ were amongst the most zealous enemies of Math- 
gamhain, and united their forces to those of Ivar. They 
were actuated, our author adds, not so much by any 
favour to the cause of the foreigners as by hatred and 
jealousy towards the Dal-Cais. 

Mathgamhain and Brian, hearing of this confederacy, 
summoned their followers to a council of war at Cashel. 
It was resolved to march to Cnamhchoill,^ a place near the 
present town of Tipperary, where it seems the enemy 
were encamped. At this critical moment an important 
auxiliary arrived, Cathal, son of Feradach, chieftain of 
the Delbhna-mór,^ " the king-soldier and champion of 
■ Erinn," with an hundred well armed men. The Delbhnas, 

who sup- 
ported the 
put to 

The Dal- 
Cais begin 
the war. 

1 Put to Death. The chieftains named 
are — 1. Faelan, king of the Deisi- 
Mumhan, or Decies of Munster. The 
Four M. give 964 (=965) as the 
year of his death, which agrees with 
our author's chronology. 2. Flathri, 
son of Allmoran, king of Ressad. 
3. Sidechad, or Sidichan, son of Segni, 
king of Titill [Ticcill, B.] The two 
latter chieftains are not mentioned in 
the Annals; nor have the districts 
called Ressad and Titill been identified. 

2 Ui Cairbhri. For the descent of 
Maolmuadh and Donnabhan, see App. 
B., Geneal. Tables IV. and V. The 
territory of the Ui Cairbri, descend- 
ants of Cairbre Aebhda (Tab. V., No. 
8), comprised the barony of Coshma, 
and along the west side of the river 
Maigue, from Bruree to the Shannon, 
CO. of Limerick. 

* Cnamhchoill, i.e. " Hazle, or Nut- 
wood," now Clechoill, or Cleighile, in 

the barony of Clanwilliam, parish of 
Kilshane, co. of Tipperary, about a 
mile and a-half east of the town of 
Tipperaiy ; O' Donovan, Supplem. to 
O'Reilli/, in voc. Orel. Survey Map, 
Sheet 67. Cnamhchoill is mentioned 
by Keating, O'llahony's Transl, p. 92. 
Haliday, in his Transl., p. 139, angli- 
cises the word Knawhill. But he 
intended this merely to give the pro- 
nunciation, not as the modern name 
of the place. 

^ Delhhna-mór. The name of 
Delbhna, or Delvin, is given to several 
districts inhabited by tribes descended 
from Lugaidh Delbh-n-Aodh (^proii. 
Delv-nae), son of Cas mac Tail. The 
Delvins were, therefore, closely allied 
to the Dal Cais. See Genealogical Table 
III., p. 247. Some enumerate five (see 
p. 75), and others seven Delvins, or 
Delbhnas. 0'Flaherit/,0gi/g.,p.BS7; Hy 
Many, p. 83; B. of Rights, p. 107, n. P. 



tion of the 
Irish clans, 

or Delvins, were near relatives of the Dal Cais, and came to 
support their kinsmen. The occasion was of such import- 
ance that the absent individuals of the clan, even though 
they may have been in the service of Maelseachlainn of the 
Southern O'Neill, and Aedh of the Northern O'Neill, all 
flocked in to answer the summons of their chieftain, and 
to support their clan in this emergency (p. 75). When they 
liad all arrived a second council of war was held, and it was 
determined unanimously to risk a general engagement at 
Sulcoit,* near the town of Tipperary. This place, as its 
name applies, was at that time probably a large wood of 
sallow trees. It was about five miles westward of. 
Cnamhchoill where the enemy had encamped, and its trees 
afforded the shelter so necessary for the aggressive war- 
fare of the period. 

It appears incidentally from this narrative that the 
whole body of the clan were summoned to decide upon 
the question of war or peace. Every petty chieftain of 
every minor tribe, if not every individual clansman, had 
a voice, not only in this primary question, but also when 
Avar was declared, in the questions arising upon subse- 
quent military operations. This constitution of the clans 
was one of the evils of ancient Ireland. It weakened 
the power of the kings or supreme chieftains. The kings 
or chieftains were themselves chosen by the clan, although 
the choice of the clan was limited to those who possessed a 
sort of hereditary right, often vague and open to dispute, 
and complicated by a comparison of the personal merits 
of rival claimants. It is not wonderful that such elec- 
tions should have led frequently to abiding animosities 
and faction fights, ending in savage bloodshed.^ To this 

* Sulcoit, or Salcoit, p. 76. This 
word signifies a Sallow- wood, Salicetum. 
Coit (Welsh, Coed) is a wood. The 
site of this wood is still marked by 
the two parishes of Solloghod-beg 
and SoUoghod-more, in the barony of 
Clanwilliam, co. of Tipperarj', about 
21 miles N. and N.W. of the town 

of Tipperary. See O'Donovan, Sup- 
plem. to O'Reilly^ in voc; and Cormac 
Glossary (ed. Stokes), p. 41, in voce 

^ Bloodshed. See O'Flaherty's ac- 
count of the political constitution of 
the ancient Irish clans ; Oijyfj.. p. 57, 


essential weakness of the government, even in times 
of peace, must be added the relation of the supreme 
rhieftain to his army in the case of war. The army 
was, in fact, a rope of sand. It consisted of a num- 
])er of minor clans, each commanded by its own petty 
chieftain, receiving no pay, and l)Ound by no oath, or any 
other obligation of allegiance to the " king," or chief com- 
mander. Each clan, no doubt, adhered with unshaken 
loyalty to its immediate chieftain ; but the chieftain, on 
the smallest offence, could dismiss his followers to their 
liomes, even at the very eve of a decisive battle. He was 
ready at every personal insult, or supposed insult, to aban- 
don the national cause, and for the sake of a selfish revenge, 
disguised under the name of honor, to expose the whole 
national army to inevitable defeat. Nor did his defection, 
however capricious or uni'easonable, expose him to any loss 
of caste or of reputation, for all were conscious that under 
similar circumstances they would have done the same.^ 
These facts must be borne in mind if we would rightly 

I The same. This state of things is 
well described by Dr. Charles O'Conor, 
i n his Memoirs of Charles 0' Conor, Esq. , 
of Bdanagare : — " The subordinate 
chiefs were so numerous, that their 
operations resembled nearly the tumul- 
tuous operations of the people: roused 
to resistance only by what immediately 
atiected their respective districts, 
what they felt only was what they 
were concerned for ; remote conse- 
quences, apprehensions, and possibili- 
ties operated too feebly . . . they 
submitted to many oppressive acts, 
not only as individuals, but as a 
nation, before even a partial confede- 
racy could be procured. Every clan 
preserved, with peculiar attention, the 
genealogy of its leader, which was the 
historical knowledge of those times ; 
and thus, very much to the prejudice 
of the nation at large, so many family 
codes were formed as made the dis- 

tinction and separation of each clan a 
barrier against national union, which 
was insurmountable to all. The small 
principalities into which the nation 
was thus unfortunately divided, exer- 
cised perpetual rapine and violence 
against each other. Being divided by 
fierce family contentions, they were 
more intent on the means of mutual 
injury than on the expedients for 
common, or even f»r private defence : 
and, while they fought against the 
English invader, they fought with 
equal animosity against themselves. 
Lhim, slnguli pugnant, univer si vin- 
cunfur." Memoirs, &c., by the Rev. 
Charles O'Conor, d.d., Dedicat., p.xxii. 
Tlie above words were written in re- 
ference to the English invasion under 
Henry II. ; but they are equally applic- 
able to the wars of the Danes, and, 
indeed, to all the internal wars of Ire- 


Inherent Understand the inherent weakness of warfare in ancient 
r/th^irish li'sland, and the ease with which the Irish were always 
in warfare, snbjiigated by a handful of disciplined men. In the ca>se 
before us, Ivar, of Limerick, well knowing the source of 
this weakness, resolved to concentrate his whole force 
upon the destruction of the Dal-Cais. He knew that the 
petty jealousies of the surrounding tribes would secure to 
him their public or secret aid in an enterprise, which, if 
successful, would rid them of powerful and dangerous 
neighbours, and probably give them possession of the 
conquered territory. It would never occur to them to 
consider that the feuds, certain to arise on the attempt to 
divide that territory among themselves, would expose them 
to a similar extermination ; whereas by an union of their 
forces they might have recovered Limerick, and delivered 
themselves and the whole province from an intolerable 
Battle of The battle that followed at Sulchoit appears to have 
commenced by the advance of the Danes. It continued from 
sunrise to mid-day (see chap, lii, p. 77), and ended in a com- 
plete rout of the foreigners, who fled "to the ditches and to 
the vallies, and to the solitudes of the great sweet flowery- 
plain ;" but they were followed by the conquerors, and 
massacred without mercy or quarter. A poem, attributed 
to Mathgamhain, is here interpolated in O'Clery's MS. 
It is in the form of a dialogue, in which Mathgamhain 
requkes from Brian an account of the battle. It contains, 
however, no information of any great consequence. The 
victory at Sulchoit put the important station of Limerick 
into the hands of the Dal-Cassian leaders.' The survivors 

'^Leaders. It is something in favour , Mathgamhain asking from Brian an 
of the antiquity of this poem that it account of the battle as if he had not 
sets down the number of slain in the j himself been present. But the prose 

battle of Sulchoit, as " little less than 

one hundred heads," instead of the 

7,000 of Keating (0'ií/a/io?í2/'í Transh., 

p. 543), and the 3,000 of the " Book 

of Munster" (la Wfl«ce^, Collect i, 479). 'as "a battalion of horsemen 

The poem gives the whole honour of i corslets," p. 77. 

the victory to Brian, anil rnpresents 

narrative gives no ground for this, 
and makes no mention of the leader 
of the Dal-Cais on this occasion. In 
the poem the Danish force is described 


fled to the fort they had erected there, but were pursued 
and slaughtered in the streets and in the houses. The 
names of several Danish chieftains slain on tliis occasion 
are given/ and we have also a particular account of the 
rich spoils of the city which fell into the hands of the 
victors.^ In a word, the fort and the good town were 
sacked and burnt. The prisoners were collected on the 
hillocks of Saingel,^ where " every one that was fit for 
war was put to death, and every one that was fit for 
a slave was enslaved." This decisive battle is dated^ 
A.D. 968. 

Another poetical account of the battle, also in a dia- Poetical 
logue between Brian and his brother, is here interpolated'^ íl'^'^'u'^"', "^ 

, ° Í the battle. 

m the O'Clery MS. (B). In this poem, the author of 
which is not named, but simply called " the poet," the 
praises of Brian are celebrated in the dialogue by Mahoun, 
and those of Mahoun by Brian. The bard concludes by 
putting into Brian's mouth a caU upon Mahoun to give 
gold to those who had so well merited reward, by estab- 

1 Given. These names are also re- 
peated in the poem (ch. liv.), with 
some variations, -which are pointed out 
_p. 78, n. ». 

2 Victors. Amongst the spoils "beau- 
tiful and foreign saddles" are particu- 
larly mentioned ; besides jewels, gold, 
andsilver ; "beautifully woven cloth of 
all colours ;" satins and silks, scarlet 
and green ; " soft, youthful, bright, 
girls ;" " blooming silk- clad women ;" 
" active, well-formed boys" — p. 79. 

3 Saingel. Now Sing] and, or St. 
Patrick's, a parish on the south bank of 
the Shannon, forming part of the city 
of Limerick. The Tripartite Life of 
St. Patrick (iii., c. 44) tells us that 
here Carthenn Finn, son of Blodh, 
son of Cas Mac Tail, the first Christian 
chieftain of the Dalcais, was baptized 
by St. Patrick, and that the name 

Saingel was corrupted from Sain 
Aingeul ["a different angel"J, because 
an angel had appeared to St. Patrick 
there, who was not Victor, the angel 
who generally attended him, but a 
different angel. Trias Tkaum., p. 158. 
See Geneal. Table IIL, Nos. 9, 10, 
p. 247. 

* Bated. So Dubl. Annals of Inisfal. 
The Four M. at 965- ( = 967) have the 
following record of this battle, with- 
out mentioning Sulchoit : — " Math- 
gamhain, son of Cenneidigh, king of 
Cashel, plundered Limerick, and 
burned it." If this date be correct, 
we have another proof that the men- 
tion of the arrival of Ivar of Limerick 
and his sons after the battle of Tara 
(980) is misplaced. See above, p. 

■' Interpo/ated. See ch. liv., p. 8L 




Eaces, or 
Gaines of 
the son of 

lishing in this victory his undoubted right to the throne 
of Munster : — 

" King of Munster thou art, I deem, 
High king of lofty Cashel ;^ 
Give gold to those who merit, 
They are many, Mathgamhain." 

The prose account (ch. Iv.) tells us that Mahoun did 
not neglect this great duty of a chieftain after such a 
victory. He ordered to every one his proper and befitting 
share, as he deserved, " according to his bravery and 

After this (p. 83) follows a singular record, which the 
editor confesses himself unable to explain satisfactorily.^ 
" Then," says our author, " they celebrated the races [or 

Í Lofty Cashel. Cmpt na ccei- 
meii'D, lit., " Cashel of the steps," 
which has been taken figuratively in 
the translation (p. 81) to signify cele- 
brated, renowned. See also p. 89, n. ^. 
But perhaps the meaning may be 
more literal, "high," "lofty," in allu- 
sion to the great Rock of Cashel. 

2 Satisfactorily. It is not clear that 
the curious ceremony here described 
had anything to do with racing or 
horse racing, although the transla- 
tion, p. 83, gives that idea. The 
women knelt around in the posture 
described, but it is not expressly said 
that they were in motion, much less 
running a race, unless motion be im- 
plied in the word translated marshal- 
led. The foreign women alone were 
engaged in the ceremony, and the 
gillies (not necessarily horse boys) of 
the army, whether of the Irish or 
Danish army is not said, marshalled 
them (whatever that may mean) from 
behind. The mention of the son of 
Feradach is probably an interpolation, 
for it does not occur in the MS. B. 

The whole was, no doubt, a heathen 
performance, intended, in some way, 
to benefit the souls of those who had 
fallen in the battle. Mr. W. M. Hen- 
nessy has pointed out a curious pas- 
sage in the Book of Fenagh, in which 
the Druids of Fergna, son of Fergus, 
king of Brefne, performed a similar 
ceremony in resistance to St. CaiUin 
and his clergy. The position of the 
Druids, with their hands on the 
ground, is described in somewhat 
coarse language {Booh of Fenagh, 
Brit. Mus. Cott. Vesp. E. 2), but is 
exactly the same as the position of the 
women spoken of in the text. See also 
Dr. O'Donovan's copy of the Book of 
Fenagh (R. Irish Acad.^, fol. 13, b. b., 
where the poetical account of this 
transaction describes the act of the 
Druids thus, &1151C na "Difiaoche co 
luay^, I'p cuiifii'D a con a y^uay^. 
These Druids were afterwards turned 
into stone by the prayers of the 
saint, as a punishment for their pro- 
fanity. See Mart, of Donegal, (Nov. 
13), p. 307. 



games] of the son of Feradach, viz., a great line of the 
women of the foreigners, on the hills [or hillocks'] of 
Saingel, in a cii^cle, and they were stooped, and their 
hands on the gTound, and the gillies of the army mar- 
shalled them [or drove them on] from behind, for the good 
of the souls of the foreigners who were slain in the battle."^ 

The next chapter (ha.) gives a short summary of the Exploits of 
exploits of Mahoun. He spoiled the Ui Enna^ of Aine, now ^ahoim. 
Knock-any, in the county of Limerick. Here Cathal, son 
of Feradach, chieftain of Delbhna-mor, " the king soldier 

1 Hillocis. The original is tiie 
diminutive Cnocán. 

2 The battle. The son of Feradach 
here mentioned (if indeed the reading 
be correct, for the words " of the son 
of Feradach'' are omitted in B.) was, 
doubtless, Cathal, son of Feradach, 
chieftain of the Delvin, or Delbhna- 
mor, mentioned, eh. lL(seep. cxvii.n.), 
whose death is recorded, ch. Ivi. But 
why the ceremony described should 
be called " the races (syiapains) of 
the son of Feradach" does not appear. 
The word gyiapaing is translated 
races on Dr. O'Donovan's authority, 
who has inserted it in his Supplem. 
to O'Reilly, but quotes as his only 
authority the passage before us. Two 
apparently cognate words, gyiaipiie 
and 5i\aipnea5aT), occur in the dic- 
tionaries of O'Brien and O'Reilly, in- 
terpreted, "a riding, also horsemanship, 
also an alarm." O'Reilly has also 
the word gYiapunig, which he ex- 
plains " grunting (as swine)." Mr. 
O'Currj' translates giaapamg "games," 
as it occurs in a poem by Cinaed O'Har- 
tigan on Aicill, or AcaiU (daughter of 
Cairbre Niafer, son of Ros Ruadh, 
king of Leinster in the second century), 
who died of grief on hearing that her 
brother Ere had been slain by Conall 
Ceamach. The words of the poem 
are — " They performed bright, pure 

games (sjiapamg 51I slain) for 
Acaill hard by Teamair (or Tara)." 
0' Curry's Lectures, p. 514. Here it 
will be observed that these games 
were performed for Acaill after her 
death, as the " races " mentioned in 
the text were performed for the slain 
Norsemen. In the poem cited by Mr. 
O'Currj^, however, there is no mention 
of horses. But the same word, in a 
plural form, g^xaippne, occurs in 
another poem, preserved in the Book 
of Leinster, (fol. 160, b. b.), pointed 
out to the editor by Mr. Hennessy, 
where it evidently signifies horse 
games or horse races. The words are 

" The steeds of the Fiana ('tis kno-\vn). 
And the steeds of Munster, in the 

great conflict. 
Performed three bright graiffne 

[games or races] 
On the Green of the son of Maired." 

3 Ui Enna. The name is now Heney 
orO'Heney. Theywereof theEoghan- 
acht Aine, or Eoghanacht of Any, 
settled in the territory round Knock- 
any, barony of Small County, in the 
county of Limerick. See O'Euidhrin, 
Topogr. Poem, p. 119. Delbhna-mor 
is now Dehan, a barony in the north of 
the county of Westmeath See note *, 
p. cxvii. 

Í 2 



of Erinn," was slain. This was immediately after the 
taking of Limerick ; but the other victories recorded in 
this chapter seem to have occurred at some time sub- 
sequent. To secure himself on his throne Mahoun took 
hostages from all the chieftains of Munster, especially 
from Maelmuadh^ (or Molloy), lord of Desmond, son of 
Bran, whom he had moreover taken prisoner; he took 
hostages also from Donnabhann^ (or Donovan), chief of the 
Hy Fidhgente. He killed or enslaved the billeted soldiers 
of the enemy in every territory. He gained seven victories 
over the foreigners. Only four are mentioned by name,^ 
but the autlior may have intended to include the battle 
of Sulchoit, which he probably counted as two, and this, 
with a second bui'ning of Limerick, incidentally mentioned, 
will make up the seven. It woiúd seem that after the first 
burning of Limerick, Ivar, of Limerick, and AmlaiF. son of 
Amlafi,'* escaped to "the East," meaning Britain, i.e. Wales, 
where, in a fruitless attempt to get footing in the country, 
Amlaff was slain,'' and Ivar, after an absence of a year, 
returned with a great fleet and entered the western har- 
bour of Limerick, where he slew Beolan Littill'' with his 

i MaelmuaidL The MS. D. says 
that this chieftain vras himself cap- 
tured first, which, if true, must have 
increased his enmity to Mathgamhain. 
See his Genealogj', App B., Tab. IV., 
p. 248. 

^ Dmnabhann. See Geneal. Table 
v.. No. 23, p. 249. 

8 By name. These are — 1 . The bat- 
tle of Sengualainn [" the old shoulder," 
from the shape of the hill], now Sha- 
nagolden, in the barony of Lower Con- 
nello, CO. of Limerick. 2. The battle 
of Laegh ; this place is unknown to the 
editor. It is said by our author to be 
in Tratraighe, now Tradry. 3. The 
battle of Machaire mór, or the Great 
Plain, fought when the united forces 
of the Gain of Limerick and Water- 
ford attacked the king of Munster, 

and encamped at Imlech (now Emly) 
for two days. See note ^^, p. 83. The 
Machaire mór here mentioned is pro- 
bably the Machaire-na-Mumhan, or 
plain of Munster, which seems to have 
extended to Emly. See Four J/., 1088, 
p. 934. 

* Amlaff, son of Amlaff. See p. 85. 
There is perhaps an error here, for 
amongst the Scandinavian nations the 
son seldom had the father's name ; 
instances however occur. Perhaps we 
should read g^-andson, or more probably 
"Amlaff, son of Ivar." 

^ Slain. There seems no notice of 
this event elsewhere. 

* Beolan Littill. The Scandinavian 
name may be Biolan. He was per- 
haps the ancestor of the O'Beolain, 
erenachs of Drumcliffe, county of 



son, who seems from the epithet Littill to have been a 
Scandinavian. After this Ivar intrenched himself in the 
western harbour, taking possession of the larger islands 
of the Shannon, and fixing his head-quarters on Inis- 
Cathaigh, now Scattery Island. 

Mahoun had now firmly established himself on his His estab- 
throne. He had broken the power of the Danes of ^^^g "^^j" ^"'^ 
Limerick, and relieved his territory from their vexatious of Munster. 
oppression. He had taken hostages from the rival chief- 
tains of his own race, and his sovereignty in Munster had 
been acknowledged without dispute for about six years. 
Then, however, at the instigation of Ivar, of Limerick, and 
Ivar's son, Dubhcenn,' a conspiracy was formed against A conspir- 
him. The two great Eoghana,cht clans of Munster, who against™^ 
had so recently submitted, now withdrew their allegiance. ^*™* 
They not only allied themselves with the Danish usurp- 
ers, but they consented to become principals in the base 
assassination of their own acknowledged sovereig-n and 
kinsman.^ The motives which led these high chieftains Motives of 

thus to sully their fair fame and hand down their names ^^^ ^°"' 
•^ _ spiiators. 

with infamy to posterity, are clearly enough explained by 
our author (ch. Ivii). Donovan and Molloy were both de- 
scended from Eoghan-mor, son of Oilioll Olum. Mahoun 
was descended from Cormac Cas, another son of OilioU 
Olum. The Eoghanacht, or descendants of Eoghan-mor, 

Sligo, settled also at Applecnss in 
Scotland. The second burning of 
Limerick by Matliyamhain is pro- 
bably the same which the Four 
M. speak of as the expulsion of the 
foreigners from Inis Sibhtonn, A.D. 
969 (=971). They had recorded the 
first burning under 965 ( = 968). 

1 Duhhcenn. See ch. Iviii. p. 87. 

^Kinsman. The relationship be- 
tween the rival tribes will be under- 
stood from Tables III., IV., and V., 
Append. B. To modem ideas this 
relationship appears somewhat distant, 

being no more than a descent from 
a common ancestor (Oilioll Olum) 
in some twenty-two or twenty-three 
generations, after a period of up- 
wards of 700 years; and in the case 
of Molloy and Donovan, from a com- 
mon ancestor, Oilioll Flanbeg (great 
grandson of Oilioll Olum) in nineteen 
or twenty generations ; j-et to Celtic 
ideas, and in a country where clan- 
ship was everything, this relationship 
was close enough to influence effect- 
ively, for good or for evil, the con- 
tending parties. 



having in course of time divided into two poweiftd septs, 
appear to have succeeded in excluding the tribe of the 
Dal Cais from their fah' share of the alternate succession 
to the throne of Munster, which both tribes claimed under 
the will of their common ancestor, Oilioll Olum. The 
two Eoghanacht families (which were confessedly the 
senior branch) were at this time represented by Donna- 
bhann, or Donovan, and MoUoy. Donovan' was the chief- 
tain of the Hy Figheinte and Hy Cairbre, in the south of 
the county of Limerick. Maelmuaidh, or Molloy, was 
chieftain of the Clann Cuirc,^ or descendants of Conall 
Core, and lord of the Ui Eachach, or of Desmond. Alarmed 
at the progress of the Clann Lughdach,^ or Dal Cais, and 
jealous of their supremacy,'* these tribes and chieftains re- 

1 Donovan. See Table V., p. 249, 
No. 23. This chieftain was the 
ancestor of the great family of 
O'Donovan. His daughter had married 
Ivar, king of the Danes of AVaterford, 
whose son, Donuabhann, was the an- 
cestor of another branch of the same 
tribe. See O'Donovan, Four M., vi., 
p. 2436. 

2 Clann Cuirc. See Geneal. Table 
IV., Nos. 6 and 24. Clann Cuirc 
signifies the Children of Core, Cuirc 
being the genitive case of Core. The 
Ui Eathach, or Ui nEachach, were 
the descendants of Eachaidh, grandson 
of Conall Core, Table IV., No. 8. 
The family of O'Mahony (Ua Math- 
gamhna) is descended from Math- 
gamhain, grandson of the traitorous 
Maelmuaidh. Table IV., No. 26. 

8 Clann Lughdach. Descendants of 
Lugaidh Menn ; see Table III., No. 
6. This Sometimes used as another 
name for the Dal Cais. 

* Supre/macy In this place is inserted 
a prophecy attributed to St. Colman, 
son of Lenin, first bishop of Cloyne 
(ob. 604). in which is foretold the 

supremacy of the Dalcassian race to 
the end of the world. This pretended 
prophecy, it is needless to say, is a 
wretched forgery, of which St. Col- 
man was as guiltless as the author of 
the present work ; for the passage is a 
manifest interpolation, interrupting 
the narrative, and of a date evidently 
much later than the reign of Brian. 
" To the Clann of Cormac Cais," it 
says, that is, to the Dal-Cais, " shall 
belong the sovereignty, except three, 
until Flann conies." Flann is ex- 
plained to be Flann Cithach, from 
Durlus (i.e. Thurles), the fabled per- 
sonage who is to be the king of Ire- 
land in the times of Antichrist, and 
consequently, the last king of Ireland 
before the Day of Judgment. See a 
full account of this class of spurious 
prophecies, and especially those re- 
lating to Flann Cithach, in O'Curiy's 
Lectures, pp. 398-426, and App., p. 
632. The word Cicach is of uncertain 
meaning. Cith is a shower, and 
Cithach, showery ; but this gives no 
meaning. Ciotach is left-lianded, 
awkward, unluckj'. Some author- 



solved upon the traitorous murder of the Dalcassian chief- 
tain, whom they were unable to meet fairly in open war- 
fare. The Hy Cairbre especially, we are told, were further 
instigated to this unworthy deed by the consciousness 
that the territory they then inhabited really belonged to 
the Dal Cais, of whom Mahoun was the representative. 
They imagined that by putting him out of the way, their 
title to the la.nd' would be secured ; forgetting that they 
only thereby provided themselves with a still more for- 
midable claimant in the person of his brother Brian. 

A poem attributed to Maelmuaidli or MoUoy on this Molioy's 
occasion, is inserted in chap. Iviii. It is an exhortation to hortatton^" 
the Danes to take the lead, and to assemble the men of to the 


ities call Flann gmacli or 51011 acli, 
voracious, which Mr. O'Curry thinks 
more likely to be the true reading. 
The words " except three" in the pre- 
tended prophecy seem to indicate that 
it was written at a time when there 
had already been three exceptions to 
the predicted Dalcassian sovereignty 
over Munster. The Book of Munster 
gives the following list of the kings of 
Munster who succeeded Mahoun : — 
1. Maelmuaidh, or JMolloy, murderer of 
Mahoun. 2. Brian Borumha. 3. 
Donnchadh, or Donogh, son of Brian 
Borumha. 4. Torrdelbhach, or Tur- 
logh, son of Tadhg, son of Brian. 
6. Muirchertach, or Murtagh mór, 
son of Turlogh. 6. Diarmaid, son of 
Turlogh. 7. Tadg, son of Muiredh 
MacCarthy. 8. Conchobhar, or Con- 
nor, son of Diarmaid (Xo. 6.) 9. 
Cormac, son of Muiredh MacCarthy. 
10. Turlogh, son of Diarmaid. (No. 
6.) 11. Murtagh, son of Connor 
(No. 8.) 12. Domhnall mór (son 
of Diarmaid, son of Turlogh, son 
of Tadhg, son of Brian), last king of 
Munster, 1168. Here it wiU be seen 
that all these princes are the direct 

descendants of Brian, and therefore 
Dal Cassian, except three, whose names 
are printed in italics, and who were of 
the Eugenian race. So that this 
prophecy was forged most probably 
about 1150, or, at least, not later than 
the times of Turlogh, son of Diarmaid, 
who began his reign 1142. The 
editor is indebted to the research of 
his friend, Mr. W. M. Hennessy, for 
this reference to the Book of Munster. 
1 Land. This territory is described 
as Caille Cormaic, or Cormac's Wood, 
extending from Oclan, or Hoclan (in 
the S. of the co. of Limerick, now 
unknown), to the Luiraneach or Lower 
Shannon, and from Cnam-coill, near 
the town of Tipperary, to the moun- 
tainous district of Luachair Deaghaidh, 
in the county of Kerry. Caille Cormaic 
is unkno^-n to the editor, imless it be the 
Ath- Caille (Wood-ford) mentioned in 
the "Circuit of Muirchertach macNeiU," 
line 131. For CnamhcoiU, see p. cxvii., 
n. 3 ; Luachair is Luachair Deaghaidh, 
a mountainous district near Castle- 
island, coimty of Kerry. Four 31., A.M. 
3727, A.D. 1579 (p. 1721). B. of 
I Rights, p. 77, n. 



lars of 

Munster, together with their own people, both Gaill and 
Gaedhil, on the "very high hill" of Eoghabhail,' which 
was to be the place of muster. This poem is of no in- 
terest, and is doubtless an interpolation^ in the MS. It 
has not the smallest pretence to authenticity. 

The particiúars of Mahoun's murder are then given in 
detail. But it is quite evident that the narrative is not 
in the state in which its author left it. It bears internal 
evidence both of interpolation and mutilation. Sundry 
" poems" have been inserted which are clearly of a more 
recent date. To make way for these the context both 
before and after has been tampered with. Hence the 
story is somewhat confusedly, and irregularly told. Two 
different accounts, not altogether consistent with each 
other, are given. According to the first of these, Mahoun 
was in the house of Donovan. How he came there 
we are not hiformed f but that he did not thus place 
himself in the hands of his enemy without some pre- 
caution, is evident from the fact that he had secured 

"^ Eoghabhail. This place was pro- 
bably in the neighbourhood of Knock- 
any, in the county of Limerick. It 
may have been the " high hill" now 
called Kpockadoon, " Hill of the Fort- 
ress," near Lough Gur. It is curious 
that the Dal Cais are called in the 
poem Dal Cais of the Churches, show- 
ing that it was composed after Brian 
was regarded as champion of the 
Church, in opposition to the Paganism 
of the invaders. 

2 Interpolation. Chaps. Ivii. and 
Iviii., owing to the loss of a leaf, are 
absent from the MS. D. 

3 Not informed. Dr. O'Donovan, in 
his abstract of this story from the 
present work, says that Donovan "in- 
vited JIahoun to a banquet in his own 
house ;" this, however, is without au- 
thoritj' from the text ; but Brian's 
poetical lament (p. 89) says that 

Mahoun "had trusted, in friendship, to 
the treacherous word of Donovan." 
The Dublin Ann. of Innisfallen say, 
at 976, that the object of the bishop 
in the part he took in these trans- 
actions, was to make peace between 
the contending parties, and this is, 
no doubt, a natural conjecture (see 
how Bishop O'Brien expands this 
hint, Vallanceys Collect. I., p. 483- 
484) ; but it is not so stated in the 
original authority, and does not explain 
Mahoun's motives in trusting those 
who he must have known were his 
deadly enemies. The " House of Do- 
novan"' was at Brugh-righ \_Burijum 
regis ; see O'Donovan, Supplem. to 
O'Reilly, in voc.], now Bruree, on the 
banks of the river Maigue, where are 
still to be seen several forts, earth- 
works, and other traces of the ancient 
"regal" residence. 



the safe conduct or protection of the bishop and clergy,' 

to the effect " that he was not to be killed or blinded." 

However, in violation of all the rights of hospitality, and 

in contempt of the clergy, Donovan delivered up his 

victim to MoUoy and his Danish associates.^ 

Molloy, we are told, had sent forward his men to meet Treachery 

Mahoun at Cnoc-an-Rebhraidh, on Sliabh Caein,^ and to ° ^ ° ^'^' 

lull suspicion induced the bishop to send also some of his 

own people in company with them, whilst Molloy himself, 

with the bishop, remamed at Raithin-mór, in Fermoy. 

Molloy had given his followers private instructions to 

put Mahoun to death as soon as they had got him into 

theh' power. The ecclesiastics who accompanied them 

as representatives of the bishop, of com-se knew nothing 

of these instructions, and were powerless to prevent the 


This account of the transaction is at least intellioible. A second 

It contains nothing of the marvellous, nothing that may ^^'^"^" 

not have really occurred in those ferocious times. But 
the second account of the same murder, given in a subse- 
quent chipter (Ix., p. 91), bears evident marks of having 
been tampered with. From the abruptness with wliich it 

1 The clergy. See p. 89. Columb, 
son of Ciaragiin, is mentioned as the 
Comharb, i.e., successor, of St. Barri 
(Bairre), or Finnbar, founder of the 
see of Cork. The Ann. Ult. and Four 
M. call him Airchinnech, or erenach of 
Cork, and date his death 987 (=990). 

~ Associates. This fact is twice 
stated in the beginning of chap, lix., 
as if two different narratives of the 
event had been mixed together ; per- 
haps the first sentence of this chapter 
and the whole of chap. Iviii. should be 
omitted ; the story would then run on 
after ch. Ivii. : — " This was the counsel 
that was acted upon, &c.," p. 89, line 2. 

3 Sliabh Caeiii. This is a mountain, 
now called Sliabh Riach, on the bor- 

ders of the counties of Limerick and 
Cork. The editor has not been able 
to discover the exact position or 
modern name of Cnoc-an-Rebhraidh. 
According to this story Mahoun was 
sent from Bruree (the residence of 
Donovan) to Sliabh Caein, a con- 
siderable distance, whilst Molloy and 
the bishop remained at Raithin mór, 
which is expressly said to have been 
in Fermoy. There is a parish, now 
Rahan, 2 h miles east of Mallow, on the 
road to Fermoj-. Molloy and Dono- 
van seem to have been both at con- 
siderable distances from the scene of 
the murder, which, according to this 
account, was committed at Cnoc-an- 
Rebhraidh, on Sliabh Caein. 



pancy of 
the two 

begins, it seems to want some introductoiy sentences. 
"The naked sword," and "the Gospel of Barri," the cleric, 
who was with Molloy, the hills too on which the crime 
was committed, are spoken of in a manner which leads a 
reader to think that they had been, or ought to have been, 
mentioned before. The executioners of Mahoun, and the 
ecclesiastics sent by the bishop of Cork, are assumed to 
have been sitting on opposite hills, ^ " the full flight of an 
arrow asunder," a fact which is given on the authority of 
those " who were acquainted with the place" (which, how- 
ever, is not named), implying tho,t the writer did not 
profess to be acquainted with the place himself. 

In the former narrative it was only said that Mahoun 
had the protection of Columb, son of Ciaragan, comharb 
of Barri, or Bairre, that is bishop of Cork. In the second 
account we are told that he wore on his breast the Gospel 
of Barri^ " to protect him." When he perceived, however, 
that veneration for this sacred copy of the Gospels was 
not likely to have weight with his murderers, he threw 
it from him, lest it should be stained with his blood, and 

1 Opposite hills. This seems to de- 
scribe the pass of Beama Dhearg ["red 
or bloody gap"], in the mountain 
of Sliabh Caein, which is traditionally 
believed to be the place where Mahoun 
was murdered. It is a gap, through 
which the road from Kilmallock to 
Cork passes, one mile south of tlie 
parish church of Kiltiiu. Dr. O'Don- 
ovan states that this gap lies between 
the hills of Kilcruaig and Redchair, 
the former on its east, the latter on 
its west. {Suppl. to O'Reilly, in voc. 
Beama dhearg). The Dublin Annals 
of Inisfallen (at 976) mention also 
another tradition, viz., that Mahoun 
was murdered at Muisire-na-monadh- 
móire, supposed to have been the 
Mushera Mountain, near Mallow, co. 
of Cork, where it is stated that there 
is a heap of stones called Leacht Math- 

gamhna, "tomb of Mahoun." Seei^oar 
M. (A.D. 974), p. 701, note, and 
Vallancey, Collect. I., p. 485. 

'^ Gospel of Burri. Almost every 
ancient Irish see preserved the Gospel 
or Psalter of its founder or some early 
ecclesiastic, generally kept in a silver 
or highly ornamented bos or shrine. 
Some of these MSS. are still extant, 
as the Book of Armagh ; the Book of 
Durrow (fonnerly belonging to the see 
of Meath) ; the Book of St. Moling, 
of Ferns ; the Book of Dimma, the 
gospels of Roscrea or Killaloe ; the 
Domhnach Airgid, of Clogher; the 
Cathach (a Psalter), of Tirconnell. 
All these are in the Library of Trin. 
College, Dublin, except the last two, 
which are in the Royal Irish Academy. 
The Gospel of Barri mentioned in the 
text is not now known to exist. 



it fell into the breast of a priest of the bishop's people, who 
was distant, we are told, " the full flight of an arrow."' 

Molloy was at a still greater distance from the scene of 
the murder; he was distant "as far as the eye could 
see ;" nevertheless he saw the flashing of the sword,^ and 
knew that the fatal blow had been given. He imme- 
diately moim.ted the horse that had been kept ready 
for him, and fled. " The cleric " asked what he was to 
do ; and Molloy answered in irony, " Cure yonder man" 
(meaning, of course, Mahoun) " if he should come to 
thee." Here it is evident that there has been some 
omission; for there is nothing to tell us who this cleric 
was. The only cleric mentioned before was the cleric 
into whose breast the Gospel of St. Barri had been thrown, 
But he was distant with Mahoun " as far as the eye could 
see," and could not therefore have been the same clerk who 
was within speech of Molloy, and. witnessed his flight. 

The scribes have interpolated^ between these two Elegy by 
accounts of the bloody deed, an elegy on the death of ^^^^ '^^ 


^ An arrow. Making all due allow- 
ance for additional strength, generated 
by the excitement of such a moment, 
it was wholly impossible that a book, 
presenting considerable resistance to 
the air, although probablj^ in a silver 
or ornamented case, could have been 
cast, without a miracle, "the full 
flight of an arrow." 

2 Sword. The Irish swords of this 
period were short, and of bronze. The 
Danish swords were long, and of 
steel. We may therefore infer (if, in- 
deed, we can infer anything from such 
a narrative) that the actual execu- 
tioners of the unfortunate chieftain 
were Molloy's foreign accomplices, 
who were bound by no obligations, 
and had no reverence for the sacred 
Gospelsof St. Finnbar, or for the pledge 
given to their victim by the clergy. 
*3 Interpolated. Immediately follow- 

ing the poem is a paragraph (ch. Ix., 
p. 91) in which the date of the murder 
is fixed by several chronological criteria. 
It was nine years after the battle of 
Sulchoit ; the thirteenth year after the 
death of Dunchadh, king of Cashel ; 
sixty-eight years after the death of 
Cormac, son of Cuillenan ; twenty 
after the death of Congalach, king of 
Ireland ; and four before the battle of 
Tara. All these dates coincide suffi- 
ciently with the year A.D. 976. The 
battle of Sulchoit is dated 968 ; the 
death of Dunchadh, 962 ; Cormac's 
death, 908 ; the death of Congalach, 
956; and the battle of Tara, 980. 
If the poem be an interpolation, as 
seems pretty clear, this chronological 
paragraph must have followed imme- 
diately the former narrative of Ma- 
hoim's mui-der. 



Mahoun, attributed to his brother Brian. It is not 
without some spirit, although to the English reader it 
has, doubtless, lost much of its poetical merit by the 
baldness of a literal translation. It begfins with a lament 
that Mahoun had been slain by the hand of an ignoble 
assassin, and not by the sword of some high king. It 
would have been some alleviation of the misfortune, if he 
had fallen on the battle-field under cover of his shield, 
and not by a base act of treachery. His exploits' are 
then briefly enumerated, and the poem concludes by 
Brian's strong expression of his determination to take 
ample vengeance upon his brother's murderer : — 

" My heart will burst, I feel, 
If I avenge not the high king." 

Inconsist- It is obvious to remark upon the second narrative, that 
second nar! ^^^ description of the position of the parties concerned is 
rative, quite different from that of the former account. There 
Donovan, having received Mahoun in his o^vti house, sent 
him on to meet Molloy's people at Slieve Riach, several 
miles distant f whilst MoUoy and the bishop were still 
further distant at Rathin-mor, in Fermoy. If this were 
so, and the murder was committed on Slieve Riach, 
Molloy could not possibly have seen the flashing of the 
sword, or distinguished the precise moment when his 
victim fell. Neither does this second narrative say any- 
thing of the presence of the bishop. It mentions two 
clerics only as witnesses of the transaction ; one, the priest 
to whom Mahoun threw St. Barri's Gospels at the 
moment of his being murdered ; the other, the cleric who 
was with MoUoy when he fled, and of whom we have just 
spoken. This clerk, we are told (p. 93), ''recognized 

1 Exploits. These are the seven 
battles mentioned before, chap. Ivi. ; 
see p. cxxiv. and note K Machaire 
Buidhe (yellow plain) is the name of 
many places in Ireland. Here it pro- 

bably denotes Sulchoit. "The army 
of the two brave men " seems to sig- 
nify the army of Ivar of Limerick and 
his son, Dubhcenn. 

* Distant. See p. cxxix., n. ■", supra. 



Molloy at the moment of his departure." The word must 
mean' that the clerk perceived from Molloy 's ironical 
speech and sudden flight the real nature of the bloody 
deed, and Molloy's participation in the crime. Fired with 
indignation, in the spirit of prophecy, he cursed the treach- 
erous chieftain. The anathema was uttered in verse, 
in which form it was believed to be more efficacious. It 
predicted by name the man who was to avenge the 
murder. Molloy was to be slain by Aedh, or Aedhan, 
" a man from the border of Aifi."^ He was to be slain 
" on the north of the sun, with the harshness of the 
wind." That is, as our author explains it, his grave was 
to lie on the north side of the hill, where the sun could 
never shine on his tomb. He should derive no advantage 
from his crime, for his posterity^ should pass away, his 
history be forgotten, his tribe be in bondage. 

After the departure of Molloy the two priests, having The priests 
joined each other, went at once to the bishop, told him J^^||°J^gj. ^^ 
the sad story, and placed the Gospel, which was sprinkled tijeir 
with the blood of the murdered man, in the holy prelate's 
breast. Then the priest who had brought the Gospel 
back, wept bitterly, and " uttered a poem,""* the object of 

1 Must mean. The words are literally, 
" the clerk took knowledge on him." 
The clerk can scarcely be supposed 
not to have known Molloy's person. 

^ Aiji. The " border of Aifi" was 
probably some place near Knockany, 
CO. of Limerick. Aedh, called also 
Aedhan, or Little Aedh, a term of 
endearment (introduced, most pro- 
bably for the sake of the metre) is 
said (ch. Ixi.) to have been son of 
Gebennach, of the Desi Beg ; he is not 
mentioned in the Annals. The Desi 
Beg occupied a territory comprised in 
the present barony of Small County, 
in the CO. of Limerick. 

s Posterity. This part of the pre- 
diction was not fulfilled ; for the pos- 

terity of Maelmuaidh is numerous to 
this day in the families of O'Mahony, 
O'Molloy, &c. May we not infer that 
the poetical anathema was composed 
before these families had been founded, 
and tlierefore probably within two or 
three generations after the murder of 
Mahoun? "Thy history shall be for- 
gotten," is also a prediction that has 
not been accomplished. 

* Uttered a poem. " He composed 
there a prophetic prediction, and 
uttered this poem," p. 93. As the 
poem, the text of which seems very 
corrupt, does not profess to be a 
prophecy, we must conclude that the 
" prophetic prediction " has not been 



which was to lay claim to the legal fines or pecuniary- 
penalties for the murder. Then follows a stanza, attributed 
to Mac Liag, on the four battles gained by Mahoun over 
the foreigners of Glenn Datha ' in the hills on the north 
of Thomond. Then a long elegy "by Mathgamhain's 
bhnd bard." These poems are, no doubt, interpolations 
of the scribes. The elegy (ch. Ixii. p. 97) occurs only in 
the O'Clery or Brussels MS. ; but it is doubtless ancient ; 
it notices some circumstances'^ of which no other record 
remains to us ; and an allusion to Brian's taking " the 
sovereignty of the five pro\dnces" (p. 99) proves that it 
was composed after Brian had been recognized as supreme 
kins: of Ireland. 

1 Glenn Batlui. This name is now 
obsolete. For Mac Liag, see above, 
p. XX., sq. 

2 Circumstances. It may be well to 
explain some names of persons and 
places in this elegy. " The land of 
the Ui Torrdhelbhaigh" or descend- 
ants of Turlogh, was nearly co-ex- 
tensive with the present diocese of 
Killaloe. The Ui Torrdhelbhaigh were 
named from Torrdealbhach, or Tur- 
logh, an ancestor of Mahoun, who, al- 
though chieftain of his race, renounced 
the world, and became a monk in the 
monastery of Lismore. (See GeneaL 
Table III., No. 15, p. 2i7). JIagh 
Fail (plain of destiny), p. 97, is a 
poetical name of Ireland. We know 
nothing of " the black steed," or of its 
owner, Tadhg, son of Maelchellaigh, 
except that the Four M., at 955, re- 
cord the death of Maelchellaigh, son 
of Aedh, aljbot or bishop of Emly, who 
was probably father of this Tadhg. St. 
Ailbe, of Imleach (now Emly), is said 
to have been in Ireland before St. 
Patrick, and was patron of Emly ; St. 
Patrick, Apostle of Ireland, p. 203, sq. 
Neasan or Nessan, the deacon, was 
patron saint of Mungret, county of 
Limerick, and a disciple of St. Pat- 
rick. Mart, of Donegal (25 July), p. 

203. Dun-Gaifi was probably the 
name of one of the forts at Donovan's 
house at Bruree. It appears from 
these lines that some little jealousy 
had sprung up between Mahoun and 
Brian. Mahoun had gone to Dono- 
van's house without consulting Brian, 
if not contrary to his advice, and 
some "injustice" had been done "by 
the senior brother to the junior," p. 
99. There is a curious allusion to the 
bard's friendship (the original uses a 
stronger word, dile, "love") for Dubh- 
cenn, son of Ivar of Limerick, in con- 
sideration of which he says, " I will 
not revile the foreigners" (p. 99). 
Magh Morgain is now unknown, but 
was certainly near Seangualainn, or 
Shanagolden (p. 99). Possibly it is 
the parish called Morgans, on the 
Shannon, N.E. of Shanagolden. The 
other places mentioned are either un- 
known to the editor, or have already 
been explained. See note, p. 98. The 
concluding stanza (p. 101) contains an 
allusion to a curious custom which the 
editor does not remember to have seen 
elsewhere noticed, ^^z., that calves, 
and probably other cattle, were made 
to fast when the tribe was in grief 
for the loss of their chieftain. See 
Jonah, iii., 7. 



The next chapter (Ixiii.) is a short introduction to the Brian, 
history which follows of Brian's reign. The murderers M^^ter. 
gained nothing by their assassination of Mahoun ; for 
Brian, who succeeded him, was not " a stone in place of 
an egg, nor a wisp of hay in place of a club," but a hero, 
whose valour surpassed that of his brother. He amply 
avenged that brother's cruel murder. The early part of 
his reign was spent in wars and conflicts of every sort ; 
but before its close he had time to cultivate the arts of 
ci\'ilization and peace. 

There is reason to think that the beginning of the next The 
chapter has been corrupted by errors of transcription.^ of Cotm-^ 
But the means of probable correction are at hand. The bhaiscinn 
true reading, a reading, at least, which gives a good sense, the^Danes 
seems to be that of the Brussels MS. " Ivar, and Dubh- of the 


cenn, and Cuallaid were killed by Ua Domhnaill,^ of 
Corcabhaiscinn, in Inis Cathaigh [Scattery Island], a year 
after the slaying of Mathgamhain. Find-inis,^ and Inis- 
mor, and Inis-da-Dromand, were plundered by them, and 
the islands of the whole harbour likewise, namely, all 
those in which were the wives, and childi'en, and seraglios 
of the foreigners."* From this it appears that the Danes 

. Shannon. 

1 Transcription. The errors occur 
in the Dublin MS. D., which has been 
followed in the text, p. 103. But 
the O'Clery MS. B. supplies readings 
which give a consistent sense. See 
note, p. 102. 

2 Ua Domhnaill. This was the tribe 
of O'Donnell, of the co. of Clare, 
seated in the west of Corcabhaiscinn, 
on the banks of the Shannon, now the 
barony of Clonderalaw. 

^ Find- inis. This name seems to 
have become obsolete. It is not men- 
tioned in D. Perhaps it may be 
what is now called Feenish Island. 
Inis-mór is now Canon Island, the 
largest of the group of small islands in 
that expansion of the Shannon which 
receives the river Ferg-us, where is also 

Inis-da-Dromand (island of two backs, 
or round hills), now Inishdadroura. 

* Foreigners. The Four M. (975) 
and Tigernaeh (957) attribute to 
Brian the "violation" of Inis Cath-' 
aigh on this occasion, and the slaying 
of Ivar and his sons, Amlaff and 
Dubhcenn. without any mention of 
the O'Donnell. Here it seems that 
Cu-alaidh or Cuallaid (as already re- 
marked, see p. ciii., ?».) is called 
Amlaff. Inis Cathaigh, or Scattery 
Island, was the seat of a celebrated 
religious house founded by St. Senan ; 
and hence the annalist speaks of the 
holy place being "violated" by the 
slaughter of the Danes there, however 
justifiable and necessary that slaughter 
may have been. 



and slain. 

of Limerick, after their great defeat by Mahoun, had in- 
trenched themselves in Scattery Island as their head- 
quarters, concealing their women and children in the 
smaller and more remote islands,' until they could get 
reinforcements from their countrymen. There the O'Don- 
nells, who were probably acting under Brian, attacked 
them and slew their leaders. A great spoil of gold, silver, 
and wealth of various kinds, was found in these islands. 

Harold, the only surviving son of Ivar, was now recog- 
nized as king of the foreigners of Munster (p. 103) ; and 
Donovan, knowing what he had to fear from the vengeance 
of Brian, sought the alliance of the Danes, and invited 
Harold to his house. But Brian invaded Donovan's 
territory of Hy Fidhgente, drove oif his cattle, took the 
fortress of Cathair Cuan, and slew Donovan and his 
Danish ally, Harold, after prodigious slaughter of the 
foreigners. This was the second year^ after the assassin- 
ation of Mahoun. 

The punishment of Molloy was Brian's next object ; 
and here we have a long interpolation (which does not 
instructions occur in the older MS.), in the shape of a bardic poem, 
tJws"*" attributed to Brian himself This poem, a state paper in 
messenger, verse, contains the instructions given to Cogarán, " the 
confidential officer of Brian," to claim reparation for the 
murder of Mahoun, and to declare war in form, against 
Molloy. Cogarán is directed to demand of the sons of 
Bran (Molloy 's father) and of the whole tribe of the Ui 
Eachach, of which Molloy was chieftain, why they killed 
Mahoun. He was instructed to denounce woe upon them 
for killing an unarmed man, and for preferring to be on 
Ivar's side, rather than on the side of their own country- 
men and kinsmen. Brian added that even though he 
himself were willing to forgive this murder of his brother, 
the brave Dal Cais would not forgive — the heads of fami- 

Mission to 



^ Islands. See p. cv., n. I one of the forts at Bruree. This 

^ Second year. See Four M., 976= battle was mentioned before, p. 45. 
978. Cathair Cuan may have been | See above, p. xcix., n. 



lies amongst them (whom he names) ^ would not forgive 
— therefore the Dal Cais, or Clan Cormaic, would submit 
to be dispersed abroad in all quarters, even to the country 
of the O'Neill,^ the most remote part of Ireland, rather 
than yield up to MoUoy, that which he was contending 
for, and which was the object of his crime, namely, 
the sovereignty of Munster, or of the south of Ireland. 
Accordingly Cogarán was commanded to annoimce to the 
tribe of the Ui Eachach, that no cumJtal or fine would 
be received, in the shape of hostages, or horses, gold or 
silver, cattle or land, and that Molloy must himself be 
given up. 

A full fortnight was allowed after the delivery of this Challenge 
message, at which time Molloy was challenged to battle ° '^ °^' 
at Belach-Lechta, or else, it was threatened, the Dal Cais, 
led by their chieftain Brian, would attack him in his 
own house (p. 107). Together with this general decla- 
ration of war, the messenger was charged to deliver to 
Molloy a particular challenge to single combat from 
Murchadh^ (or Murrogh) the great, the son of Brian, who 
was afterwards slain with his father at Clontarf 

Then, we are briefly told, Brian fought the battle of Battle of 
Belach-Lechta,'* or Belach-Leghtha, in which MoUoy, LeÍhta" 

1 Wliom he names. Seep. 105. These 
were all of Mahoun's immediate family. 
Conaing, slain at Clontarf, 101-4 ; Cein- 
neide, ancestor of O'Kennedy ; and 
Longergan (whose grandson is men- 
tioned, Four M., 1045), were nephews 
of Mahoun, the sons of his brother, 
Donncuan, lord of Ormond (si. 948). 
At the time of Mahoun's murder, 
therefore, these his nephews were all 
of age, and able to take vengeance on 
his murderer. Ogan (ancestor of 
O'Hogan) was the son of Echtighern, 
who was the son of Cosgrach, son of 
Lorcan, and brother of Ceinneide, the 
father of Mahoun and Brian. There 
was another Echtighern, lord of Tho- 

mond, Mahoun's elder brother. But 
he was slain in 9-18 (=949) FourM. 

2 O'Neill. This seems to be the 
meaning of the obscure stanza, " The 
Clann Cormaic from afar," &c., p. 105. 
The text is evidently corrupt. 

^ Murchadh. Seep. 105. In this 
stanza Murchadh is called " heir of 
the chief Idng of Erinn," which leads to 
the suspicion that this poem must not 
have been written until after the year 
1002, when Brian became " chief king 
of Ireland." 

4 Belach-Lechta. This is a chasm in 

the mountain called Cenn-Abrath or 

Cenn-Febrath. According to a legend 

told in the Tripartite Life of St. Pat- 




Manner of 



" king of Munster,"^ fell, with 1,200 of his troops, both 
foreigners and Irish, and the victor took hostages of 
South Munster, or Desmond. 

In this short account of the battle no mention is made 
of the person by whom MoUoy was slain. ^ The narrative 

rick, this mountain lies between Loch 
Longa (N.W. of Glenworth, in Fer- 
moy, CO. of Cork), and Ardpatrick, in 
the barony of Coshlea, co. of Limerick. 
St. Patrick wishing to erect a church 
in this latter place, the chieftain of 
the country opposed him, but said that 
if Patrick could remove the great 
mountain, Cenn-Febrath, so as to give 
him from the place where he stood a 
view of Loch Longa, he would be- 
come a Christian. Patrick having 
prayed in faith of the Lord's promise, 
(Matt. xvii. 20), the mountain began 
to bend from its top until a great 
piece of it lay level with the plain, 
forming the chasm or pass called 
Belack-Leffhtha, " Road of Melting," 
or dissolving. " Est autem in pr»- 
dicto monte, in loco ubi montis dimi- 
nutio visa est incipere, via patens, 
quíE nomine inde recepto perpetuam 
facit miraculi memoriam. Vocatur 
enim vulgo Belach-Leffhtka, A. via 
liquefactionis vel resolutionis, quia 
ibi mons videbatur prius resolutionem 
et diminutionem pati." Vit. Trip., iii., 
c. 48. (Colgan, Trias Thaum., p. 158). 
See O'Donovan, Suppl. to O'Reilly, in 
voc. Ceann-ahhrath, Belach-Lechta, as 
the name is written in the present work, 
and by the Four M., signifies " the 
road of the Tomb or Monmnent," 
and is so translated by Dr. O'Conor. 
Cenn-Febrath is now Belach-Febrath, 
vulgo Ballahowra. 

^King of Munster. Here Molloy 
is expressly called " King of Munster," 
and his right to succeed Mathgamhain 
admitted, although in the list of 
Munster kings (chap, ii.) his name is 

omitted. But we have shown that 
this list is the interpolation of a tran- 
scriber, and did not proceed from the 
original author. See p. xvii. 

~ Was slain. The Dublin Annals 
of Inisfallen say that Molloy was slain 
in the battle by Murchadh,sonof Brian. 
For this the only authority seems to 
be the poetical challenge to a single 
combat, sent on the part of Murchadh 
to Molloy by the messenger Cogarán. 
See p. 105. The account of the battle 
given in these Annals under A.D. 978 
(which is the true year) is as follows : 
— "The battle of Belach-Leachta [was 
gained] by Brian, sou of Ceinneide, 
and by Murchadh, Brian's son, and by 
the Dal Cais, over Maolmuaidh, son of 
Bran, with the race of Eoghan mór 
and the Lochlanns of Munster, in 
which Maolmuaidh was slain by the 
hand of IMurchadh, son of Brian, and 
twelve hundred of the Gaill, with a 
great multitude of the Gaedhil. Some 
historians, and our author" [i.e. the 
author of the original Annals of Inis- 
fallen] " in particular, say that it was 
at Berna Derg, on Sliabh Caoin, this 
battle was fought, or at Sliabh Fera- 
muighe-Feine [Fennoj' mountain]. I 
find in other old writers that it was on 
CnocRamhra, on the south side of Malla 
[Mallow], on the road to Corcach 
[Cork], that this victory was gained 
[lit., this defeat loas given] by Brian; 
and I find in other writers that the 
battle of Belach-Leachta was fought 
beside Macromtha [Macroom], close to 
Mnisire-na-mona-mór." Ann. Innisf. 
(Dubl.), A.D. 978. It seems evident 
that there is some confusion in this 



evidently implies that he was slain in the battle in fair 
iight, and not under any peculiar circumstances ; but the 
former account of his death (chap. Ixi.) tells us that Aedh 
Gebennach, of the Deisi-beg, " found him in an alder hut," 
at the ford of Belach-Lechta, and slew him there after he 
had been " deprived of his ej^es through the curse of the 
clerk." This represents him as having been slain, not in 
the battle itself, but immediately after the battle. It 
may have been that he lost his eyes in the battle, which 
misfortune was believed to be the consequence of the 
clerk's curse (see p. 93) ; and that having concealed him- 
self in the alder hut near the ford, Aedh Gebennach dis- 
covered his retreat, and slew him without mercy. This 
supposition seems the only mode of reconciling the two 
accounts, if indeed it does reconcile them. 

Brian having thus subdued his enemies and taken host- Brian king 
ages, became, by the death of Molloy, undisputed king of *^^ ^'i^ster. 
Munster ; and the remainder of the present work is de- 
voted to his history and achievements. He commenced 
by the reduction of the Deisi, or Decies of VVaterford, 
who were in close alliance^ with the Danes of Waterfbrd 
and Limerick. After a victory at Fan-Conrach,^ or, as it 
is also called. Dun Fain-Conrach, he " ravaged and plun- 
dered" the whole country to Port Lairge, the harbour of 

account between the place wliere Ma- 
houn was murdered and the place 
where Molloy was slain. 

1 Alliance. Donovan, the murderer 
of Mahoun, is said to have married a 
daughter of the Danish king of Water- 
ford, and his daughter was married 
to Imhar or Ivar of Waterford. See 
Geneal. Table V., p. 249. 

2 Fan-Conrach. The Dublin Ann. 
of Inisfallen, and Mulcomy's MS. 
copy of Keating, call this place Fan 
mic Conrach, Fan may mean church 
(^Fan-urn) ; and there is a Cruimther 
[or Presbyter] Connrach in the Irish 
Calendar, at Feb. 23. See Mart, of 
Donegal. But Fan is also a declivity, 

a sloping ground, which is, doubtless, 
the meaning here ; and we may infer 
from the name Ban Fain-Conrach (fort 
of Fan-Conrach) that there was an 
antient fortress at the place. It was 
probably in the neighbourhood of the 
town of Waterford. A friend has sug- 
gested that Conrach may have been 
corrupted into Comeragh, and have 
given name to the Comeragh moun- 
tains, CO. of Waterford. He states 
also that there are considerable re- 
mains of earthworks on the side of the 
mountain facing the city of Waterford, 
and that traditions exist among the 
people of a battle fought there by 




His con- 
quest of 
Ossory and 

Waterford. He banished Domhnall,' son of Faelan, king 
of the Deisi of Waterford, who, we are told, had " forced 
the war upon him," although no mention is made of this 
chieftain in the former part of our author's narrative. 

Having gained these advantages, Brian took hostages 
from Mumhain or Munster, the only mode at that time of 
securing the loyalty of any trilie ; in other words, he was 
recognized as king of Munster ; and it is mentioned that 
he also took hostages of the churches, " lest they should 
receive rebels or thieves to sanctuary."^ 

Ossory was next subdued. Gillapatrick,^ son of Donn- 
chadh, its " king" or chieftain, was taken prisoner, and 
forced to give hostao'es. Brian then marched to Leinster, 
to the great plain of Magli Ailbhe,* where he received the 

^Domhnall. The Ann. luisf . say that 
Domhnall was slain on this occasion ; 
but this is contrary to our author's 
testimony, and to the Four M., ■who 
tell us that he died in 995 = A.D. 
997. He was the son of that Faelan, 
son of Cormac, king of the Deisi, 
who was murdered by Ivar of Lime- 
rick, in consequence of his adherence 
to the cause of the Dal-Cais. (See 
ch. 1., p. 73, and p. cxvii. supra, 
n. 1). And yet we now find the son 
on the opposite side, in alliance with 
the Danish enemy. A similar instance 
of the facility with which the clans 
changed sides in those turbulent times, 
is found in the fact that Cian, son of 
Molloy, immediately after the death of 
his father, made peace with Brian, 
married Sadhbh, or Sabia, Brian's 
daughter, fought with him on the 
occasion mentioned in the text against 
the Deisi, and afterwards at Clon- 

^Sanctuary. See ch. Ixvi., p. 107. 

s Gillapatrick. This chieftain was 
son of Donnchadh, son of Cellach, 
son of the celebrated Cearbhall, 
or Carroll, king of Dublin, whose 

alliance with the Norsemen of Ice- 
land and Dublin is so remarkable 
a fact in Irish history. Gillapatrick 
in 997 (Four M., 995) was slain by 
Donovan, son of Ivar of Waterford 
(see Geneal. Table IV., No. 25), and 
by Domhnall, son of Faelan, of whom 
we have just spoken. Gillapatrick 
was the ancestor of the family of Mac 
Gillapliadruig, of Ossory, who have 
now taken the name of Fitzpatrick. 

^ Magh Ailhhe. There is a townland 
and village now called Moynalvy, in 
the parish of Kilmore, barony of Upper 
Deece, county of Meath ; but this was 
not in Leinster. Dinn-Riogh (now 
Ballyknockan Moat), one of the resi- 
dences or palaces of the kings of 
Leinster, was in a plain, also called 
Magh Ailbhe, on the banks of the Bar- 
row, a little to the south of Leighlin 
bridge, in the townland of Bally- 
knockan, county of Carlow ; {Book 
of Bights, pp. 14, n. °, 16, n. ".) In the 
Magh Ailbhe of Meath was a stone, 
called Lia Ailbhe [Stone of Ailbhe], 
which fell A.D. 1000, and was made 
into four millstones by King Malachy 
II. ; Four M. (998=1000). The 



homaofe' of the two kinos of Leinster, Dornhnall Claen, 
king of the eastern, and Tuathal, king of the western 
plain of Liphe, or Liffey. This was eight years after the 
murder of Mahoun, or A.D. 984 ; and thus Brian in that 
year became the acknowledged king, not of Munster only, 
but of all Leth-Mogha, the southern half of Ireland. 

And now he began to aim at becoming supreme king His naval 
of all Ireland. He assembled " a great marine fleet" on ^^^3^''^' 
Loch Deiro'-Dheirc. He went himself in command of 
SOO boats"" up the Shannon to Loch Ree. From this posi- ♦ 
tion he plundered Meath as far as Uisnech,^ and Brefne 
(a district comprising the counties of Leitrim and Cavan), 
" beyond Ath-liag and upwards."* He sent also 520, 
whether boats or men is not said, into Connaught, where 
"great evils" were perpetrated, and Muirghius (or Morris), 
son of Conchobhair, the chieftain next in succession as 
eligible to the throne of Connaught, was slain.^ It appears 

Ann. Ult. (998-9) call this stone pn'm 
dindgnai maighi Breyh, " the prin- 
cipal monument of Magh Bregh." 

^Homage. "They came into his 
house" (p. 107) ; i.e., they submitted 
to him, and paid him homage. See 
also p. 118, and p. Ixxxix., supra, n. 2. 

2 Boats. The word used is lestar or 
leastar, which signifies a bowl, a drink- 
ing cup, any kind of vessel, a small 
boat. See O'Donovan, Suppl. to 
O'Reilly. The MS. B uses the word 
eatar, which is probably a small river 
boat. Cormac's glossary derives it 
from ethur (inter) between : .i. ethaid 
o ur CO or; "because it goes from 
shore to shore." Stokes' ed., p. 18, 
voc. Ethur. 

3 Uisnech. Now Usghnah hill, or 
Knock-Ushnagh, midway between 
Mullingar and Ballymore, co. of 

■* Upwards, i.e., north of Ath-liag, 
a ford of the Shannon, on the borders 
of Roscommon and Longford, where 

the town of Lanesborough now stands. 
This town is called in Irish Bel-Atha- 
Liag,- mouth of Ath-liag, or of the 
stone-ford. In 934 (4 M.) Olaf 
Cuaran and his Gaill came from 
Loch Erne across Brefne to Loch 
Ree, passing through the count j' of 
Longford, which was the ancient 
Tebhtha, or TefBa. 

5 Slain. Two others are mentioned 
as having been slain by Brian, but 
they are not said to have been slain on 
this occasion. These are — 1. Ruaidhri 
(or Rory), son of Cosgrach, " King of 
the Ui Briuin," or descendants of Brian, 
brother of Niall of the Nine Hostages. 
(See O'Flaherty, West Connaught, p. 
126, sq.) The Four M. tell us that 
this chieftain was slain in 992 (==994), 
not bj' Brian or his troops, but by 
Conchobhair, son of Maelseachlainn, 
and by Giolla-Cheallaigh (or Kil- 
kelh'), son of Comhaltan O'Clery, lord 
of Hy Fiachrach Aidhne. (O'Donovan, 
Eg Fiachrach, p. .392). 2. Muirghius, 




A peace 

from the Four Masters (A.D. 987=989), that the foreigners 
of Waterford were amongst Brian's forces on this occasion. 
These exploits seem to have alarmed Maelseachlainn, 
or Malachy II., king of Ireland, who had been eighteen 
years on his throne, and had strengthened himself by 
many victories over the Danes and native chieftains.^ 
He now took steps to come to an understanding with 
Brian.^ The two chieftains met at Plein-Pattoigi^ (p. 109), 
where Brian had brought his fleet, and " a mutual peace" 
was concluded. It was agTeed that all hostages in the 
custody of Malachy were to be surrendered to Brian ; 
whether they were of the Munster foreigners, or of the 
Leinster tribes, of the Hy Fiachrach-Aidhne (in the county 
of Galway), or of the Hy Many (West Connavight). On 

son of Ruaidhri or Eorj', who, our 
author says, "was slain afterwards." 
The Four M. record his death at 995 
(=997), thus: "a battle was gained 
over the Munster-men bj'' Cathal and 
Muirghius, the two sons of Ruaidhri, 
son of Cosgrach, and by Ui Cellaigh 
[O'Kelly], wherein many fell, and 
Muirghius, son of Ruaidhri, fell in the 
heat of the conflict." 

1 Chieftains. In 983, Malachy, then 
in alliance with his half broth ei-, Gluu- 
iarain, son of his mother Donnflaith 
by Olaf Cuaran, defeated, in a bloody 
battle, Domhnall Claen, k. of Leinster, 
and Ivar, of Waterford, after which 
he plundered Leinster. In 985 he 
plundered Connaught, and slew its 
chieftains. In 989 he defeated the 
Danes, and besieged them in the Dun 
of Dublin for twenty nights, until thej' 
capitulated for want of water, and 
promised a tribute to be paid every 
Christmas for ever. In 990 Malachy 
gained a victory in Thomond, Brian's 
own country. In 992 he invaded 
Connaught and repulsed Brian, who 
had advanced into Meath as far as 

Loch Annin, now Lough Ennell. In 
996, two years before the peace of 
Blean-Phuttoge, Malachy had plun- 
dered Nenagh, in Tipperaiy, and de- 
feated Brian ; he then again attacked 
Dublin, and carried off the Ring of 
Tomar and the sword of Carlus, relics 
which were held in honour by the 
Dublin Danes. Fowr J/.,994:(=996.) 
But our author does not mention these 
triumphs of Malachy. They explain, 
however, how he came to have in his 
custody the hostages alluded to in the 
treaty; and also why Brian so readily 
came to tenns. 

^ Brian. This treatt/ is passed over 
without notice by all our annalists, 
except the Dubl. Inisfall,, where it is 
mentioned at 997. 

3 Plein Pattoigi. This place is now 
Blean-Phuttoge, a townland in the 
barony of Kilkenny West, county of 
Westmeath, on the shore of Lough 
Ree. Ord. Map, Sheet 1 5. The word 
Blein or Blean, signities a harbour. 
For this identification the editor is 
indebted to the research of Mr. W. M. 



these conditions Malachy was to be recognized as sole 
sovereign of Leth Cuinn (the northern half of Ireland), 
" without war or trespass of Brian." This was A.D. 998, 
two years before the battle of Glen-mama. 

" After the death of Domhnall Claen," the province of Revolt of 
Leinster revolted/ and made an alliance with the Danes ^®'"**^^"^- 
of Dublin (ch. lx\di.), menacing Brian with war. He 
therefore mustered his forces, and marched towards 
Dublin, intending to blockade the city. He appears to 
have halted on his way in a place called Glen-mama, or 
Glen of the Gap, near Dunlavin, the antient fortress of the 
kings of Leinster, in the county of Wicklow. Here Malachy 
seems to have joined him, and here he was opposed by the 
allied Danish and Leinster armies, who had previously 
sent away their families and cattle for safety into an 
angle^ near Glen-mama. 

Alarmed at finding that Brian was mo^nng there, they Battle of 
went forward " beyond their families" to meet him. ^i™" 
There ensued a bloody battle, in which, after great 

1 Revolted. There is some difficulty 
here in the chronology. Domhnall 
Claen's death is dated 985. The treaty 
with Malachy is dated 998. There- 
fore, if we understand our author to 
say that Leinster revolted immediately 
after the death of Domhnall Claen, 
that revolt must have taken place 12 
or 13 years before the treaty of peace. 
It is more probable, however, that the 
words "after the death of Domhnall 
Claen" were not intended to imply 
immediately after his death ; or else 
that the revolt had continued for some 
time before Brian felt himself strong 
enough to march upon Dublin. 

2 An angle. Called by our author 
Ascaill Gall, the " angle of the foreign- 
ers." Axilla Gallorum. See note p. 110. 
There is still near Dunlavin a curious 
angular piece of land, which, although 
surrounded by the counties of Wicklow 

and Kildare, was formerly a part of the 
county of Dublin. It is now in the 
barony of South Naas, co. of Kildare. 
This was possibly the angle to which 
the Leinstermen sent their cattle and 
families. But they are said to haveused 
for the same purpose the districts of Ui 
Briuin Chualann, Ui Gabhra [reac? Ui 
Gabhla], and Ui Donnchadha (page 
111.) TheUi Briuin Chualainn were 
the descendants of Brian, brother of 
Niall of the Nine Hostages, who settled 
in the district round Sliabh Cualann, 
now Sugar-loaf mountain, in the ter- 
ritory of Cualann, south of the co. of 
Dublin, and north of Wicklow. The Ui 
Gabhla were seated in the S. of the co. 
of Kildare. See Foui- 3f., A.D. 497 
(p. IGO, n. '.) The territory of the Ui 
Donnchadha (or O'Donoghue) is de- 
scribed as that through which the river 
Dodder flows, iu the co. of Dublin. 



slaughter on both sides, Brian' was victorious. Aralt, or 
Harold, son of Olaf Cuaran, the heir apparent of the 
foreigners of Ireland, Cuilean, son of Echtighern,- and 
4,000 of the Danes of Dublin, were slain.^ The ^dctorious 

1 Brian. Our author makes no 
mention of Maelseachlainn orMalachy 
in this engagement, although from the 
account given of the battle by Tighern- 
ach and the Four M. there is good 
reason to think that Malachy was 
present. The Annals of Ulster, how- 
ever, make no mention of him. 

2 Son of Echtirjliern. The Four M., 
Tighemach, and the Ann. Ult. call 
this chieftain '• Cuilen, son of Eitigen," 
and speak of him as one of the " chiefs 
of Athcliath" (Dublin) ; his name 
seems Celtic, but from this we can 
draw no inference. Cuilen was the 
name of a son of Cearbhall, son of 
Dungal, lord of Ossory, and king of 
Dublin. Four M., 884. 

3 Slain. The following interesting 
account of the site of this famous 
battle has been communicated to the 
editor by the Rev. John Francis 
Shearman, formerly R.C. Curate in 
that neighbourhood, now of Howth. 
"Glenmama is said by all our his- 
torians to have been in the neighbour- 
hood of Dimlavin (Dun-Liamhna); 
the name is ancient, and is mentioned 
in the Circuit of Ireland hy Muirchear- 
tach MacNdll, edited by Dr. O'Dono- 
van, line 61. The name, however, is 
now unknown in the neighbourhood, 
and utterly forgotten, unless it be sup- 
posed to exist stUl in a corrupted 
form in the name of the townland of 
Maimcar. popularly Man of war, in the 
parish of Tubber. A wide-spread tra- 
dition of a great battle against the 
Danes exists among the people, and 
men of the last generation could point 
out the place where the bodies of the 

slain lay heaped together in promis- 
cuous sepulture. The road by which 
Brian pursued the retreating Danes is 
still well known. An elevated table- 
laud rises about 2 miles below Bally- 
more Eustace, and runs north and 
south for nearly 8 miles to Rathsal- 
lagh, forming a sub- range to the 
Wicklow mountains. About midway 
a valley divides this ridge east and 
west, on the southern slope of which, 
facing the west, the modem ti'wn of 
Dunlavin stands. The ancient for- 
tress of Dunlavin lay more to the 
south, and higher up on the hill side. 
The moat of Tournant marks the 
place, where is also an old cemetery, 
with remains of a still earlier time, 
pagan tumuli, and fragments of stone 
circles, known in this part of the coun- 
try as the 'Piper's stones.' This 
valley, I believe, is the ancient Glen- 
mama ; and although there is now no 
road or pathway through it, a road is 
said to have run through this glen 
from the earliest period, leading to 
Liamhain, Maistin, and the other 
primitive fortresses of mid-Leinster, 
and thence eastwards to the port of 
Wicklow by Glendalough and Holy- 
wood, whence an old road ran across 
the mountains, which still retains in 
some places its ancient pavement, not 
unlike the old Roman roads. It is 
locally called St. Kevin's road, this 
saint having made his first retreat at 
Holywood, where his cave is still to 
be seen, with many other reminiscences 
of his retirement. The precise spot in 
this valley wliere tradition says the 
' fight began,' is situated between the 



army seems to have met with no opposition on their way 
to Dubhn, where they immediately made themselves 

townlands of Friar-hill, in the parish of 
Tubber, and Black-hill and Brewer's- 
hill, in the parish of Dunlavin (Ord. 
Map, Sheet 15), at a point somewhat 
to the west of the place in which the 
parishes of Dunlavin, Tubber, and 
Cryhelpe, or Crehelp, meet in the slate 
qaiarries. At this spot the valley nar- 
rows, with steep banks on the south or 
Black-hill side. Towards the east it 
again widens, and on the S. side is an 
angle called Gauleenlana (i.e., '5al5al.- 
an-5lenna, the fork of the glen), 
opposite to which a glen runs north- 
ward up to the townland of Mainwar. 
This is now called Tubber glen, but its 
older name was ' Glenvigeha^ Cgten- 
pigexja, Glen of fighting). From Gau- 
leenlana the glen opens to the south, 
under Brewer' s-liill, and is here called 
Plezzica (perhaps Bleisce, the stony 
place) ; a pool here is called Tubber- 
villar, a well on the hill side Thienveg, 
and a small morass in the debris of 
the slate quarries is called Pouhnona, 
while the mearing between this and 
Merganstown is known as the Lorg- 
ditch. The modern road from Dun- 
lavin to Cryhelpe crosses the valley 
at the slate quarries. About 60 years 
ago it was a mere bridle path, while 
the land on either side was unbroken 
by drain or fence, and covered with 
gorse and heather.: Glen-mama may 
be said to terminate at the slate quar- 
ries, between which place and Glenvi- 
geha, or Tubber glen, a gentle slope 
rises to Cryhelpe, from the summit of 
which the land again slopes to the 
east. The old pass crossed about here, 
and this may be the place called Claen 
Conghair (A, Four M., A.D. a99 and 
740, n. *), i.e., the slope of the path. 
A portion of this road may be traced 
across the lower part of Cryhelpe, It 

passes near a little disused cemetery 
called the Religeen, which is now nearly 
obliterated by the annual encroach- 
ments of the plough. Nothing re- 
mains but a few granite boulders, with 
round cavities in them, used perhaps 
for bruising com. Many such are to 
be seen in the old cemeteries of this 
neighbourhood. Near this are also 
the remains of an old town, said to be 
the ancient village of Cryhelpe. This 
road crosses the bog of Cryhelpe, and 
passes by a very curious and well- 
preser\-ed stone circle, which is, as here 
usual, called the 'Piper's stones,' 
adjoining the Bealach Dunbolg at the 
ford of Athgreany, under Dunboyke. 
"It would appear that the Danes 
expected to reach Dunlavin, and per- 
haps to encamp there to meet the 
forces of Meath and Munster; but 
Brian seems to have anticipated their 
movements, and to have met them 
in the narrow defile of Glen-mama, 
thus cutting off their retreat. Here 
there was no room for a regular en- 
counter, and the flight must have 
been immediate. The main body of 
the Danish army flew across the slop- 
ing land through Kinsellastown, to the 
ford of Lemmonstown, where a rally 
seems to have been made by them, 
and where it is said thousands fell in 
the conflict. To this day their bones 
are turned up in the fields about the 
ford, and some mounds on the banks 
of the stream are so filled up with 
bones that the people leave them un- 
tilled as being sacred repositories of 
the dead. The remnant of the defeated 
army fled to Holywood, about a mile 
to the east of the ford, and thence to 
the ford of the Horsepass, on the Lif- 
fey, above Poul-a-phouca, where they 
were utterly routed. Towards the 




masters of the fortress.' Here spoils of great value were 
found ; great quantities of gold, silver, bronze, and precious 
stones ; carbuncle gems, buffalo horns, and beautiful gob- 

close of the last centun- the wild lands 
of Upper Cryhelpe were reclaimed, and 
man}' relics of this retreat were brought 
to light, chiefly in a line from Tubber 
glen to Lemmonsto^vn ford, the work- 
men, coming upon the pits where the 
bodies of the slain were buried, left 
them intact, closing them np again. 
In the detile of Glen-mama, during 
the first week of Maj', 1SG4, one of 
these pits was accidentally opened : 
bones were turned up, and also the 
fragments of a Danish sword (now in 
the possession of Dean Graves, Pres. 
R.I. A.); the clay was found black 
and unctuous, as if thoroughly satu- 
rated with human remains. Tradition 
states that in this retreat ' the son of 
the King of the Danes' fell among the 
slain, and that his body was interred in 
the old cemetery of Cryhelpe, which is 
now obliterated, and almost unknown. 
"Within its circuit nothing remains but 
a rude granite shaft, 5 feet 3 inches 
above the soil, with an oblong aper- 
ture cut through it to admit the inser- 
tion of a wooden or stone arm to form 
a cross. It is called ' Cruisloe,' and now 
serves as a scratching post for cattle. 
Under this rude memorial, as the same 
tradition avers, sleeps in his gorj^ grave 
Harold, the son of Amiaff, ' the crown 
prince of the foreigners of Erinn.' 

"Another but smaller body of cavalry 
fled through Glanvigeha to reach (per- 
haps) the ford of the Liffey at Bally- 
more Eustace; and, while crossing 
a quagmire called '■ Moinavantri,' at 
' Mohiavodhi' in Tubber, some of them 
w-ere engulphed in the morass, and 
there perished. In the year 1849 this 
morass was drained, and while being 
filled up with stones and rubbish, a 
quantity of bunes, apparently those of 

the horse and the cow, together with 
the antlers of an elk, 'boiled up' to 
the surface. 

"A third party fled from the valley 
eastward by the ' Religeen'' to the Beal- 
ach Dunbolg to gain the shelter of the 
wild recesses of Hollj^wood and Slieve 
Gadoe (Slievegad or Church Moun- 
tain), passing near where Aodh ]\Iac 
Ainmire was slain in 598. Tradition 
says that Brian Borumha pursued them 
along the Bealach to Hollywood, where 
are to this day ancient and majestic 
yew trees around the church of St. 
Kevin, in whose spreading branches 
the king of Leinster may have lurked 
until his place of concealment was dis- 
covered by Murchadh, son of Brian. 
The flight continued to the Horsepass 
on the Liffey, where the Danes made 
another fruitless rally. Their defeat 
left the road to Dublin free and unim- 
peded for the victorious legions of 
Brian and Maelsechlainn." 

1 The Fortress. Two bardic poems, 
one of them imperfect, are here in- 
serted in the MS. B, in celebration of 
this victor)'. They contain no infor- 
mation of any consequence; but in 
the second of them (p. 115), the num- 
ber of the Danes slain at Glen-mama, 
is said to have been 1,200, instead of 
4,000, as in the prose naiTative (p. 
111). It is also said that neither the 
famous battle of iNIagh Ilath(seep.lll.) 
nor the great battle of Magh Ealta [or 
Clontarf], was to be compared "in 
prosperous results" to the battle of 
Glenmama (p. 115). This poem was 
evidently written after, but probably 
not long after the battle of Clontarf ; 
before that battle had come to be 
represented as decisive. It is doubt- 
less, an interpolation. 



lets, as also "vestures of all colours."' Brian and his 
army, we are told, made slaves and captives of " many 
women, boys, and girls," and this is defended as being a 
just retaliation upon the foreigners, who were the fu-st 
ao-o-ressors, having come fi-om their home to contest with 
the Irish the possession of their own country and lawful 
inheritance^ (p. 117). 

Brian is said in one place (p. 118) to have remained in Brian's 
Dubhn from great Christmas to little Christmas, i.e., from of DubUu. 
Christmas to the Circumcision f but in another place (p. 
117) he is said to have remained from Christmas to the 
Feast of St. Brigit (Feb. 1st). Be this as it may, he 
seems to have made Dublin his head-quarters until he 
had reduced the greater part of Leinster to subjection, 
and taken hostages ; he also burned and destroyed the 
wood called Coill Comair,^ making clearances, and dis- 
mantlino- fortresses, doubtless with ^ A^ew to his intended 
military operations. 

1 Colours. Here follows a paragraph, 
which is most probably an interpola- 
tion, in which is explained how the 
Danes came by their great wealth : 
namely, by the plunder of fortresses, 
churches, and subterraneous caves. 
Their magical powers enabled them 
to discover everj'thing that had been 
concealed under ground, or hidden in 
the solitudes of the Fians and fairies. 
This is an instance of the lingering be- 
lief (among Christians) in the magical 
powers of the pagan idolatrous rites. 
The Fians were the ancient Irish Mili- 
tia, whose leader was the celebrated 
Finn Mac Cumhaill, slain A.D. 284. 
Legends of the prowess and exploits 
of the Fians were favourite subjects 
with the Irish bards. This class of 
poetry stiU exists in the Highlands of 
Scotland, but elsewhere is principally 
known by Macpherson's imitation of 
the Ossianic tales. In Ireland this 
literature is abundant. Seethe "Boy- 
ish Exploits of Finn Mac Cumhaill," 

edited by Dr. O'Donovan, 1859, and 
other publications of the Dublin Ossi- 
anic Society. Comp. Keating's curious 
account of the qualifications neces- 
sary for admission to the Order of 
the Fianna, or Fenians ; G'Mahony's 
Transl., p. 3i3, sq. 

2 Inheritance. A paragraph is here in- 
serted laudatory of Brian, setting forth 
his services against the Danes, and the 
25 battles gained by him over them ; 
this has also the air of an interpola- 
tion, although it occurs in both MSS. 

3 Circumcision. The Four M. 
rightly understood by " Little Christ- 
mas " the Octave of Christmas. Tigern- 
ach (A.D. 999), says that Brian re- 
mained " a full month" at Dublin ; co 
raihke an mi nlan: which Dr. O'Conor 
errnneousl}"' reads an min Ian, and trans- 
lates "remanet ad libitum ibi.'' 

* Coill Comair. "Wood of the 
confluence" [of two or more rivers], 
a place now unknown to the editor. 
It was, however, in Leinster. 



Submissiou Meantime " the kin»' of the foreigners" (called Amlaibh 

of Sitric . o to \ 

son of oiaf ^^ ^.he text (p. 119) ; but we should evidently read " son 
Cuaran. of Amlaibh,") namely, Sitric, son of Amlaibh, or Olaf 
Cuaran, fled after the battle of Glen-mama to seek pro- 
tection from the northern chieftains, Aedh,' king of 
Ailech, or North Uladh, and Eochaidh,^ king of East 
Uladh. But they both refused to protect him, and appear 
to have delivered him up to the officers sent by Brian to 
pursue him. Accordingly three months after his defeat 
at Glen-mama, " he came into Brian's house," in other 
words, "submitted to Brian's own terms," and was restored 
to his former command in the Dun, or Castle of Dublin. 

The truth is that Sitric was now necessary for the 
accomplishment of Brian's ambitious plans. An alliance 
was accordingly made with him. It was probably on 
this occasion that Brian gave his daughter to Sitric in 
marriage, and possibly formed his own connexion with 
Sitric's mother, Gormiiaith,^ of whom we shall hear more 
in the sequel. 

1 Aedh. He was son of Domhnall 
O'Neill, king of Ireland (A.D. 95G), 
grandson of the celebrated Muircher- 
tach of the leather cloaks. He was 
slain in the battle of Craebh Tukha, 
1003. {Four M.) See Table I. p. 245. 

2 Eochaidh. He was son of the Ardul, 
Ardgal, or Ardgair, who was slain at 
the battle of Cill-mona. (See p. 45, and 
p. xcviii., supra.^ Madugan (father 
of Ardgal) si. 948, was son of the 
Aedh, son of Eochagan, who was slain 
in the battle of Kilmashogue in 919. 
(See p. xci., «.) The royal palace of 
eastern Uladh at this time was at 
Dundalethglas, now Downpatrick ; as 
the palace of Northern Uladh was at 
Ailech. Uladh, with the Danish ad- 
dition of stir (province), has now be- 
come Z7/a(ZA-siiV= Ulster. 

8 Gormflaith. She was the sister of 
Maelmordha, king of Leinster, daugh- 
ter of Murchadh, and grand-daughter 

of Finn, Lord of Offaly, who was slain 
928. She was married first to Olaf 
Cuaran, by whom she had the Sitric 
mentioned above ; then to Malachy II., 
by whom she was divorced or repu- 
diated (after she had borne to him a 
son, Conchobhair or Connor) ; and 
thirdly to Brian, by whom she was 
also put away. The Njal Saga calls 
her Kormlada, and describes her as 
" the fairest of all women, and best 
gifted in every thing that was not in 
her own power," i.e., in all physical 
and natural endowments ; but "she did 
all things ill over which she had any 
power," i.e., in her moral conduct. 
(Burnt Njal, ii., 323.) It is remark- 
able, as showing the close alliances 
by marriage between the Irish chief- 
tains and the Danes at this period, 
that Donnflaith, daughter, or grand- 
daughter (see p. clii., n. 3) of Muir- 
chertach of the Leather cloaks, and 



Maelmordha, King of Leinster, brother of this Gorm- And of 
flaith, was also now taken into Brian's favour. This mo^dJia 
prince had allied himself with the Danes of Dublin in king of 
the hope of securing' for himself the crown of Leinster, ^"^ ^'^' 
and had fought with them against Brian at Glen-mama. 
After the victory he concealed himself in the foliage of a 
yew tree, where he was discovered and taken prisoner by 
Murchadh, or Murrough, Brian's son. But Avhen Brian 
made alliance with Sitric of Dublin, the same policy in- 
duced him to take Maelmordha also into his friendship ; 
and Donnchadh, son of Domhnall Claen, the actual king 
of Leinster, was deposed, that Maelmordha might be put 
into his place. ^ 

Ha\'ing formed this confederacy with those who were Brian 
so lately his bitterest enemies, Brian now retui-ned home, Kinncora! 
that is to say, to Cenn-coradh,^ or Eonncora, his usual 
residence, near Killaloe, after having enriched his fol- 
lowers with the spoils of Dublin and of Leinster. Here, 
in defiance of his recent treaty,^ and in violation of good 

(after the death of her first husband, 
Domhnall, son of Donnchadh, King of 
Ireland), " married " Olaf Cuaran, and 
had by him Gluniarain, King of Dub- 
lin. Malachy TI. afterwards married 
Gormflaith, Olaf Cuaran's -widow, and 
finally married Maelmaire, a sister of 
Sitric, who was the same Gormflaith's 
son by Olaf Cuaran. From her name 
Maelmaire ("servant of Mary") this 
daughter of King Olaf Cuaran seems 
to have been a Christian. 

1 Securing. In 999, about a year 
before the battle of Glen-mama, in 
alliance with Sitric, he had captured 
Donnchadh, son of Domhnall Claen, 
king of Leinster, and declared himself 
king in his place. See .1»«. Ult. 998 
or 9. Four M., 998 (=1000). 

2 Place. See chap. Ixxi., p. 119. 

3 Cenn-coradh. "Head of the weir." 
This word has greatly puzzled the Scan- 
dinavian editors of the Njals Saga, who 

have written it Kantaraborg, conf oimd- 
ing it with Canterbury, or supposing 
a place in Ireland with that name ; 
others write Kunniattahorg, and ren- 
der it quasi Kun7iaMr~borff, "the capi- 
tal of Connaught." (See the Latin 
version of Njal Saga, p. 591, and 
Burnt Njal, ii., p. 323). But the 
change of t into c or ^ gives Kanhara- 
horg a sufficiently close representation 
of Kinncora. Burnt Njal, Introd., p. 
cxciii., note. 

* Treaty. Dr. O'Brien, ia his Law 
of Tanistry (Valiancy, Collect, i., p. 
520), endeavours to throw the blame 
of violating the treaty upon Malachy, 
who had made "a great plundering" 
in Leinster, which Dr. O'B. says, was 
" Brian's kingdom." The Ann Ult. 
record this plunder in their year 998- 
9, the year of the battle of Glen-mama, 
but before they mention that battle. 
It is trae the annalist Tighemach re- 



His inva- 
sion of 

faith and honour, he organized a formidable conspiracy 
for the purpose of deposing Malachy, and placing himself 
on the throne. Our author's account of this transaction 
(chap. Ixxii.) is, that Brian having mustered all the forces 
of Legh Mogha, the southern half of Ireland, both for- 
eigners and Irish, mvaded Meath, and marched as far as 
Tara, from whence he sent ambassadors to Malachy de- 
manding hostages or battle. Malachy requested a truce 
for a month to enable him to consult his tribe ; and this 
was conceded. Brian pledged^ him^self that no plunder, 
ravage, trespass, or burning (p. 119) shovúd be attempted 

cords it after the battle (at 999), but 
does not say that this was any viola- 
tion of the treaty; and at the very next 
year speaks of Brian's invasion of 
Meath as his first treacherous rebellion 
against Malachy, cet impod tre mehail; 
which plainly implies that Brian was 
the first to break faith. The fact 
seems to be, that, whilst Brian was at 
Dublin, Malachy plundered Leinster 
so as to complete the subjection of that 
district, whilst Brian was dealing 
with the Dublin Danes. The state- 
ment of Dr. O'Brien, that " In the 
year 1000 Brian was earnestly soli- 
cited by the princes and states of Con- 
naught to dethrone Malachy," &c., 
is wholly without authority from any 
ancient source, although it is found in 
Keating. Even our author, with all 
his Dalcassian zeal, makes no mention 
of it. 

1 Pledged himself. This story of a 
truce for a month seems in itself 
highly improbable, and was probably 
invented by the Dalcassian authors 
to give some colour of generosity to 
Brian's conduct. No mention of it 
occurs in the Annals. The storj', as 
told in the Annals, is this: — Brian, 
with an army consisting of his own 
troops, and his recently conquered vas- 
sals of South Connaught, Ossory, and 

the Munster foreigners, marched to 
Tara. His Danish cavalry of Dublin, 
however, had set out before him, and 
were completely defeated by Malachy in 
person. Brian then advanced to Ferta- 
nimhe (now unknown) in Magli Bregh^ 
but returned "without battle, without 
plunder, without burning." (^Four M. 
and Tighernadi, 999 = 1001). The 
Ann. Ult. saynothing of Brian's march 
to Tara, and represent Malachy's vic- 
tory over the Danish and Leinster 
cavalry as having taken place after 
Brian's expedition to Ferta-nimhe ; 
adding that his cavalry having been 
completely routed (pane omnes occisi), 
Brian retired, "cogeute Domino," with- 
out battle or plunder. Ann. Ult. 999 
(^1000). Tara, it should be remem- 
bered, had been deserted by the kings 
of Ireland since the middle of the sixth 
century, although Mr. Moore speaks 
of "a palace," "a stately structure" 
there, burnt by Brian on this occasion. 
Hist. Ii'el., ii., p. 95. Malachy at this 
time resided at Dun-na-sgiath [fort of 
the shields], on the banks of Lough 
Ennell, co. of Westmeath, probabh' in 
the parish of Moylisker, where there 
tire still many ancient raths. There 
was another Dun-na-sgiath in Tippe- 
rary, which has been already noticed. 
Sec 1). cxvi., n. 1. 



durino- that time, but he himself in person remained at 
Tara, pending Malachy's answer. 

Malachy employed this interval of truce in endeavouring i^iaiachy 
to obtain assistance from his relatives^ in the north of ^^^J^^* ^^^ 
Ireland, and from Cathal, son of Conchobhair, king of Con- northern 
naught ; resolved, if these chieftains should fail him, to ^' ' ^^ * 
submit to Brian's demands, and give him hostages. Our 
author adds that this resolution to give up " the freedom 
of Tara" (i.e., his rights as supreme king of Ireland) was 
not more disgraceful to Malachy than it was to his nor- 
thern kinsmen of the Clanna Neill, and the other clans 
of Leth-Cuinn, the northern hah" of Ireland (p. 12]). 

The messenger sent to Aedh O'Neill by Malachy on Poetical 

this occasion was Giolla-Comgaill O'Slebhin, the chief '^^*:'''"^'^ 

. . . . °* '"^® 
bard of Ulster, whose poetical account of his mission is mission to 

inserted^ into our author's narrative. This poem Ls an Q'^eiii 
earnest exhortation to the three chieftains, Aedh O'Neill, 
Eochaidh, of East Ulster, and Cathal, of Connaught, to 
rescue Tara (meaning the monarchy of Ireland) from the 
grasp of .Brian. Aedh is exhorted by the glories of his 
race, by the dishonour that would attach to him if he 
allowed the throne of Ireland to pass from the Hy NeiU, 
and by the hint that Maelseachlainn was ready to abdi- 
cate^ in his favour, if by his aid the present danger should 

^Relatives. These were Aedh O'Xeill, 
King of Ailech. and Eochaidh, son of 
Ardgal, king of Uladh, p. 121. Of 
these we have already spoken. See 
p. cxlviii., n. 1, 2. Cathal, son of Con- 
chobhau-, king of Connaught, was the 
father of Tadhg, leader of the forces of 
Connaught at the battle of Clontarf, 
where he was slain In 1014. See 
CFlaherty's West Connavght, p. 133, 
No. 48. This Cathal was ancestor of 
aU the O'Conors of Connaught. 

^Inserted. Chap. Ixxiii., p. 121. 
This poem occurs in the older MS. D, 
and not in 0'Clery"s MS. As O'Slebhin 
lived to 1031, he may have acted as 
Malachy's messenger in 1002 or 3, 

and there is no reason, except its hav- 
ing been excluded by O'Clery, for 
supposing the poem to be an interpo- 
lation. It was quite consistent with 
the manners of the times that the 
message should be delivered in poetry, 
especially when the ambassador was 
a professional bard. The family of 
O'Slebhin, now Slevin, was of the 
clann Fergusa, descended from Fergus, 
king of Ireland in the sixth century, 
and, therefore, of the Cinel Eoghain, 
the same tribe of which Aodh was the 
head. See GeneaL Table I., p. 245. 
• 3 Ahdicaie. See the first stanza of 
the poem at the beginning of p. 125. 



Refusal of 

be averted. Eochaidh is exhorted to bring the Ulaidh, 
or men of eastern Ulster, of whom he was chieftain, and 
Cathal to brino- " the ilkistrions men of Olneofmacht,"' or 
Connaught ; thus the whole of the race of Herimon would 
be assembled (Aedh leading the northern Hy Neill, and 
Malachy the southern Hy Neill)^ against the usurpation 
of the house of Heber, of which Brian was the represent- 
ative. The reader, it is hoped, "wdth the explanations 
already given, will have no difficulty in understanding 
the historical allusions of this poem.^ 

Aedh O'Neill however (ch. Ixxiv.) refused to comply 
with the poet's request, on the ground that when the 

1 Olnegmacht. This was the name 
of a tribe of the Damnonii, the abori- 
ginal settlers in Connaught, from whom 
the name of Olnegmacht was poetically 
given to the whole province. It is 
probably from this tribe that Ptolemy 
gave the name of Nagnatce to a district 
in Connaught. 

2 Hy Neill. See the last three 
stanzas of the poem on p. 123. 

' This poem. It may be well, how- 
ever, to remind the reader that Lis 
Luic/keach, in stanza 1, is Fort of Lugh- 
aidh Menn, ancestor of the Dal Cais. 
See Geneal. Table III., p. 2-17. " The 
House of Tal," or of Cas Mac Tail, is 
also another name for the Dal Cais; 
and Temhair of Fal, or Fail, is Tara of 
Fal, so called from the ancient stone 
called Lia Fail ; comp. stanzas 15 and 
19. See Petrie on Tara (Transact. 
R.I. A., xviii., p. 159, sq.) Magh- 
Bregh or Bregia (si. 3) has already 
been explained; and Tara is called 
Tara of Bregh (s<. 5), because it is 
situated in the plain of Bregia. In 
St. 5 (p. 123) the poet supposes Donn- 
flaith (mother of King Malachy II.) to 
have been Aedh's sister, and, therefore, 
daughter to King Domhnall O'Neill, 
son of Muirchertach of the leather 

cloaks ; but the received opinion (fol- 
lowing Keating, Reign of Maehechlainn 
11.) makes her not sister, but aunt to 
Aedh, daughter of Muirchertach Lea- 
ther cloaks, and sister to Aedh's father. 
If this be so, Aedh and Malachy were 
first cousins ; on the former supposition 
Aedh was Malaehy's uncle. For Core's 
Brugh (st. 14, p. 125) see note ~, p. 12-t. 
The Core intended was Conall Core, 
king of Munster ; (see Gen. Table IV., 
No. 6, p. 248). In the same stanza 
" Lugaidh's land" is the territory of 
the Dal Cais, so called from Lugaidh 
Menn. Table III., No. 6. In st. 16, 
Zdirc or Lore signifies Leinster, from 
Laeghaire Lore, alluded to again si. 24, 
who was the common ancestor of the 
Hy Neill, and of the kings of Leinster ; 
hence the poet's argument, that his de- 
scendants ought to make common cause 
against Cashel. In st. 17 "Muircher- 
tach of the red prowess" is Muircher- 
tach of the leather cloaks. In st. 20, 
'"Cormac, grandson of just Conn," is 
Cormac, grandson of Conn of the 
Hundred Battles, and son of Art 
Aenfir, ancestor of the Hy Neill, north 
and south, and therefore " to his race 
belongs this western hill;" i.e., Tara, 
or the throne of Ireland. Hence, Tara 


chieftains of the Cinel Eoghain' were kings of Tara, they 
were able to defend their own rights without appljnng 
for any external aid, and that he would not risk his life, 
or the blood of his clan, for the sake of securino- the 
sovereignty of Ireland for any other man. Malachy, 
on receiving this cold refusal, resolved to go in person 
to Aedb, to offer him hostages, and to abdicate the 
throne in his favour. Aedh was himself anxious to give 
to this proposal a favourable answer (p. 129) ; but it was 
necessary to obtain the consent of the clan to the aid in 
war, which was the condition of it. He therefore assem- 
bled the Cinel Eoghain, and laid the question before 
them. They all voted against engaging in warfare with 
the powerful sept of the Dal Cais. Aedh then advised a 
more solemn consideration of the subject ; and the tribe, 
having " retired to secret council," decided that as neither 
side could expect to vanquish the other, they would refuse 
Malachj^'s request, unless he would consent to cede to 
them "one-half of the men of Meath and of the territory of 
Tara," — (in other words, half of the hereditary jurisdiction 
and possessions of his tribe, the Clan Colmain) — to become 
from thenceforth the property of the Cinel Eoghain. 

On receiving this unfavourable, and indeed insultiner The Clan 
• • PI' 

answer, Malachy retired in gTeat wrath, and having sum- agr^^to 

moned his tribe, the Clan Colmain, reported to them the submit to 
state of the case. They agreed, as a matter of necessity, to 
submit to Brian. Accordingly Malachy set out, with a 
guard of honour of twelve score horsemen only, and, "with- 
out guarantee or protection, beyond the honour of Brian 
himself and that of the Dal Cais," made submission, and 
offered to give hostages. Brian answered that as Malachy 

is called Cormac's Hill, st. 16. In si. 
22 (p. 127) Cathal, King of Connaught, 
is called " descendant of the three 
Cathals," \na cath " of the battle " a 
play upon his namel, because he had 
three predecessors Kings of Connaught 
called Cathal, viz., Xos, 43, 36, and 22, 

in Mr, Hardiman's list of the Kings of 
Connaught. Hardiman's ed, of 0' Fla- 
herty's West Connaught, p. 132, sq. 

' Cinel Eoffhain, or Korthem Hy 
Xeill. The Tribe of which Aedh -was 
himself the chieftain. See Genealogical 
Table I., p. 2i5. 




had tnisted to his honour, he would take no hostages, 
but would grant him a truce for a year,^ without pledge 
or hostage, adding, that he was ready to declare war 
against Aedh and Eochaidh, provided Malachy would 
promise not to join them against him. Malachy readily 
made this promise, but strongly advised Brian to return 
home satisfied with the result of his expedition, " as 
having received submission from himself" (p. 133), and so, 
having attained the great object of his ambition. Brian's 
followers, being now " at the last of their provisions," 
readily consented to adopt this advice ; and Brian, before 
he set out for his home, gave twelve score steeds to be 
divided among Malachy 's twelve score mounted followers. 
But not one of Malachy 's men " would deign to carry a 
led horse with him," showing their reluctance to accept 
any gift which implied vassalage to Brian. Accordingly, 
Malachy bestowed the twelve score steeds upon Murcbadh, 
Brian's son, who had that very day given " his hand into 
Malachy's hand," in token of alliance and friendship (p. 
1 33), and who, by taking back his father's horses, did not 
in any way compromise himself. 

Nevertheless, this transaction, notwithstanding its 
palpable hoUowness, seems to have been deemed suffi- 
cient to transfer the throne to Brian, and to reduce Mal- 
aa o?i^-^ achy to the condition of a vassal, ^ under the title of King 
Bion. of Meath. He appears to have submitted, however re- 

luctantly, without a struggle ; nor is the exact date of the 
change expressly marked by our annalists, with the ex- 
ception of Tighernach, who adds, in Latin, at the end of his 
year 1001 (=1000 of the Four Masters), "Brian Boruma 

The crown 
passes to 

1 A year. No mention of this truce 
for a year occurs in the Annals. 

2 Vassal. It is remarkable that 
hejiceforth in the Annals, -whenever 
Maiachy and Brian are mentioned as 
acting together, Brian's name is put 
first, although before this time it was 
ibe reverse. The Four M., at A.P. 997, 

have " an army was led by Maelsech- 
lainn and Brian," &c. " Maelsech- 
lainn with the men of Meath, and 
Brian with the men of Munster," &c. ; 
see also A.D. 998, p. 739, 741. But at 
A.D. 1001, p. 747, and A.D; 1003, p. 
749, we have " Brian and Maelsecjif 


regnat." The Four Masters, on the other hand, describe 
their year 1001 as the twenty- third year of Malachy, and 
A.D. 1002 as the first year of Brian. But Malach}^ began 
his reign in 980, so that the year 1001 of the Four 
Masters, which they say is the twenty- third of MalacSy, is 
really A.D. 1003-4. If so it follows that Malachy con- 
tinued king during the year 1002-3, although the com- 
mencement of Brian's reign^ was counted from 1002. 

The new sovereign began his rule by " a great naval Brian seeks 
expedition" to Athluain, now Athlone, and by an invasion ^^"^^^nQn 
of Connaught by land. Hostages were brought him with- naught and 
out demur to his head-quarters at Athlone, by the Con- "^^^' 
naught chieftains, as well as by Malachy.^ In the same 
year^ an expedition was made "by Brian'* to Dun Dealgan 
(now Dundalk), to demand hostages from Aedh and Eoch- 
aidh, the two chieftains of Ulster," who have been ah-eady 
so often mentioned. But Brian's policy seems to have been 
at this time peace. Aedh and Eochaidh met him at 
Dundalk, and a truce for a year was agreed to, on the 
condition that the northern chieftains " were not to attack 
Malachy or Brian's Connaught allies, during that year, but 
to continue as friends."^ 

When the year was out, Brian mustered his forces (ch. Invasion of 
Ixxvii.), and invaded the Ultonian chieftains. He appears ^^^^^'■• 
at this time to have received the submission of all Ireland 
as far northwards as the county of Armagh. Our author 
says that he was followed by " aU the men of Erinn, both 

1 Brian's reign. See Dr. O'Conor's 
note on Tighernach, A.D. 1001 (Rer. 
Hib. Scriptt, ii., p. 270), and O'Fla- 
herty, Ogyg., p. 435. 

2 Malachy. Chap. Ixxvi., p. 133. 
Four M. 1001. 

^ Same year. Our author says (p. 
133) that the expedition to Athlone 
was " at the end of a year after this," 
and also that the expedition to Dun- 
dalk was " at the end of a year." The 
meaning apparently is, at the end of 

the year of truce granted to Malachy, 
so that the same year is intended. 
This may account for the first year of 
Brian being also considered the last 
j'ear of Malachy; and thus the story 
of the truce for a year is incidentally 

* By Brian. Our author mentions 
Brian only. The Four Masters, Ann. 
of Ulster, and Tighernach, say, by 
Brian and Malachy. 

5 Friends. See p. 135. 




of the 

Brian in- 
vades the 

Leaves an 
offering of 
gold at 
and takes 

Gaill and Gaedhil, of all who were from Sliabli Fuaid^ 
southwards," that is to say, south of the district which 
owned Eochaidh as its lord. This was by far the greater 
part of Ireland ■; and resistance to such an army by the 
provincial troops of the North was hopeless. 

Aedh O'Neill having failed to give him battle, Brian 
seized hostao;es from all Ulster. This seems to show some 
weakness in the condition of the northern chieftains, 
which two years'^ afterwards manifested itself in open 
warfare between the Cinel Eoghain, under their youthful 
chieftain, Aedh O'Neill, and the eastern Ulstermen, under 
Eochaidh ; it ended in the battle of Craebh-Tulcha, in 
which Aedh and Eochaidh were both slain, Aedh being 
at the time only twenty -nine years of age. 

Brian lost no time in taking advantage of this discord. 
He proceeded immediately to invade the Cinel Eoghain 
and Uladh. Marching his troops through Meath, and 
remaining a night at Tailltin,^ he advanced to Armagh, 
where he laid an offering of twenty ounces of gold upon 
the altar^ of the cathedral. He carried off hostages from 
Uladh, Dalaradia, and all the North, except the country of 
the Cinel Conaill,the present county of Donegal (ch.lxxvii.). 

Brian now (ch. Ixxviii.) felt himself strong enough to 

1 SliahhFuaid. "Moiintainsof Fuad" 
(a man's name); in the south of the 
county of Armagh, now called the Fews 
mountains, from the barony of Fiad/ui, 
or Fiodk, in which they are situated. 

2 Tico Years. The Ann. Ult. say 
that the battle of Craebh Tulcha took 
place on Thursday, the IS kal. Oct., 
■which would indicate the year 1004. 
The Four M. date this battle 1003, 
but in that year the 18 kal. Oct., 
(which is always Holy Cross day) fell 
on Tuesday. Dr. O'Donovan supposes 
Craebh Tulcha ["spreading tree of the 
hill "] to be the place now called Crew, 
near Glenavy, barony of Upper Masse- 
reene, county of Antrim. But see 
Beeves's Eccles. Antiq., p. 34:2, n. . 

3 Tailltin, now Teltown, a parish in 
the barony of Upper Kells, eo. of Meath. 

* Altai; It was probably on this 
occasion that the curious entry was 
made in the Book of Armagh, in pre- 
sence of Brian, by his confessor or chap- 
lain, in which Brian, as chief King of 
the Irish "Imperator Scotorum," re- 
cognised the supremacy of the see of 
Armagh, and put on record an autho- 
ritative declaration on the subject — 
"finituit" (read JÍ71ÍV it) "pro omnibus 
regibus Maceriaj ;" i.e. of Cashel — viz. 
for himself and his successors. See 
O'Curry's Lectures, p. 653. By this 
politic measure, Brian evidently hoped 
to secure the favour and support of 
the northern clergy. 



execute a project which, as we leam from the Four Masters, His circuit 
he had twice before' attempted, but which the power of ° '"'^^ • 
the Northern Hy Neill had prevented him from carrying 
out. This was to make a circuit'^ of all Ireland, for the 
purpose of carrying off hostages, to secui'e the submis- 
sion of the tribes who had not as yet tendered their 

1 Twice before. The first attempt 
was immediately after he had received 
the submission of Malachy, A.D. 1001 ; 
when "Brian and Maelseehlainn, ac- 
companied by the men of Ireland, 
Meathmen, Connaughtmen, Munster- 
men, Leinstermen, and foreigners," 
went to Dundalk, where the northern 
chieftains met them, but "did not 
permit them to advance further." 
Again, in 1003, the Four M. tell us 
" Brian and Maelseehlainn " led an 
army into North Connaught as far as 
Traigh Eoehaile (near Ballysadare, co. 
of Sligo), to proceed around Ireland, 
" but they were prevented by the Ui 
NeiU of the North." 

2 Circuit. In imitation, probably, 
of the circuit of Muirchertach of the 
leather cloaks. See " The Circuit of 
Ireland, by Muirchertach Mac Neill," 
edited by Dr. O'Donovan for the Irish 
Arch. Society, 18-11. 

3 Allegiance. His route is minutely 
described by our author (ch. Ixxviii.) 
Having started apparently from Killa- 
loe, he travelled northwards through 
the midst of Connaught, into Magh- 
n-Ai, otherwise called Machaire Con- 
nacht [the plain of Connaught], a 
great plain in the co.'of Roscommon, 
extending from the town of Roscom- 
mon to Elphin, and from Castlerea to 
Strokestown ; over Coirr-Sliabh (now 
the Curlew mountains, near Boyle), 
into Tir-Ailella (now the barony of 
Tir-errill, co. of Sligo), into the dis- 
trict of Cairpre (now the barony of 
Carbury, same co.), over the Sligech, 
or river Sligo, " keeping his left hand 

to the sea, and his right hand to the 
land," by Benn-Gulban (now Binbul- 
bin, a remarkable mountain near Sligo), 
over the Dubh or Black river (now the 
Duff, on the borders of Sligo and Lei- 
trim), and over the Drobhais, (now the 
Drowis, which rises in Loch Melvin, 
and falls into the sea at Bun-drowes, 
near the town of Donegal) ; into Magh 
nEine (now Moy, a plain m Donegal); 
then over Ath Senaigh (or Bel-atha- 
Seanaigh [mouth of the ford of Sean- 
ach], now Ballyshannon ; at Easruadh 
or Eas Aedha ruadh (Assaroe) [cata- 
ract of Aedh Ruadh], now the salmon- 
leap, on the river Erne, Balh'shan- 
non) ; into Tir-aedha (now the barony 
of Tirhugh, co. of Donegal), and across 
Beamas Mór (now Bamesmore Gap, on 
the road from Donegal to Stranorlar); 
over Fearsad into TirEoghain (Tyrone), 
thence to Dal-riada and Dal-araidhe, to 
Uladh. and thence to Belach-Dúin, 
where he arrived about Lammas. Dal- 
riada is now the Route in the northern 
half of the co. of Antrim. It is not 
to be confounded with Dal-araidhe or 
Dal-aradia, in the southern part of the 
CO. of Antrim, and north of co. of 
Down. Uladh was originally the name 
of the whole province of Ulster, but 
after the conquest of the ancient Ultu 
by the Oriels under the Collas, the 
name became restricted to the district 
which included the southern half of 
Antrim and all the co. of Down, but 
afterwards was confined to the southern 
portion of Down. In this last sense 
it is here used. See O'Flaherty, Ogyg., 
p. 372, Dr. O'Donovan suggests that 




to plunder 

Having effected this purpose^ as far as was possible, 
Brian dismissed his troops,^ being probably short of pro- 
visions. The men of Leinster crossed Bregia, marching 
southwards to their homes ; the foreigners went off by sea 
to Dublin, Waterford, and Limerick ; and the Connaught- 
men passed through Meath westwards to their province 
(p. 137). No mention is made of the Munstermen, who 
remained, we may fairly conclude, with their chieftain. 
Having stopped at Craebh Tulcha,^ or returned thither, 
the Ulaid or Ulstermen supplied him with provisions, for 
which Brian paid liberally in horses, clothing, gold, and 
silver (p. 137). 

Then follows a paragraph, which is most probably 
an interpolation.* It pretends that Brian, after his cir- 
cuit of Ireland, organized a naval expedition, consist- 
infif of the foreio'ners of Dublin and Waterford, the XJi 
Ceinnselaigh, fi'om the county of Wexford, and the Ui 
Eathach of Munster.^ These were aU maritime tribes, 
and were sent to " levy royal tribute ;" in other words, 
to plunder, from the Saxons and Britons, from the Lemh- 
naigh^ in Scotland, and from the Airer Gaedhel, or inhabi- 

Belach-Dúin may have been Belacli- 
Dúna-Dealgan, "the pass of Dundalk." 
Four 3L, p 756, n. ^. But Dr. Reeves 
(^Adamnan, p. xlv.), identifies Belach- 
Dúin with Castlekeeran, barony of 
Upper Kells, co. of Meath, on the 
Blackwater, three miles N.W. of Kells. 
Fersad is mentioned as if it was a place 
between Bearnas Mór and the entrance 
into Tyrone. The Four M. call it 
Feartas Camsa. The Ann. Ult. call it 
Feartais Camsa in Ultu in aenach 
Conaill [" Feartais Camsa in Uladh, in 
Conall's fairgreen"], if so, it ought to 
have been mentioned after Tir Eoghain; 
but it is perhaps more probable, that 
the words ocus it Tir Eoghain are an in- 
terpolation. Feartas Camsa, "passage, 
«r ford, of Camus," was on the river 
Bann, which separates the counties 
of Derry and Antrim, near the old 
church of Macosquin or Camus-juxta- 

Banu. Four M., p. l-ib; Reeves, Ecd. 
Ant, p. 342 ; and Adamnan, p. 96-7. 

' Purpose. The Four M. say " that 
he did not get hostages of the Cinel 
Conaill or Cinel Eoghain," p. 757. 

2 His troops. They are called in 
the text " the men of Erinn" because 
they had followed Brian in his capa- 
city of Ard-righ, or High King, of 
Erinn, and not as chieftain of any 
particular clan or province. 

3 Craebh Tulcha. See p. clvi., n. ^. 
^ Interjwlation. See notes, pp. 136-7. 
^ Vi Eathach of Munster. Seated 

on the S.W. shore of the co. of Cork, 
round Bandon and Kinsale. See p. 
cxxvi., n. 2 ; and B. of Rights, p. 256, a. 
^LemJinaigh. The Ltamhnacha, or 
men of Lennox, are so called from the 
Leamhain, a river flowing from Loch 
Lomond. Lennox is perhaps Leam- 
hain-uisce. Leamhain, or Levinwater. 


tants of Argyle. This expedition is not mentioned in 
the Irish .Annals, nor, so far as the editor knows, in any- 
other authority.^ The plunder thus obtained was di\'ided 
into three parts: one-third was given to the Dublin 
Danes ; one to the warriors of Leinster and of the Ui 
Eathach ; and one " to the professors of sciences and arts, 
and to those who were most in need," this latter portion 
having been probably devoted to useful and charitable 
purposes, as a set off against the questionable morality of 
the means by which it was acquired. 

Then follows (.chap. Ixxix.) an account of the peace and Peace aid 
prosperity^ which flourished in Ireland darincr Brian's PJo^Pfi"'*/ 

, . . . . ® . of Brian 3 

administration. He banished and enslaved the foreiofners, reign. 
and rescued the country from their oppression. "A lone 
woman might have walked in safety from Torach," now 
Tory Island, off the north coast of the county of Donegal, 
to Cliodhna, or Carraic Cliodlma, a rock in the harbom- 
of Glandore^ (i.e., through the whole length of Ireland), 
"carrying a ring of gold on a horse-rod" (chap. Ixxx.) 
He erected or restored churches, among which are par- 
ticularly mentioned the church of Cell-Dalua, or Killaloe ; 
the church of luis-Cealtra, an island in Loch Dei'g; and the 
Cloichtech (iDelfry), or Round Tower, of Tuaim-Greine.'* 
He encouraged literature and learning. He made bridges, ■' 
causeways, and roads. He strengthened the principal 

1 Authority. The story, however, 
although probably exaggerated, may 
have had some foundation in fact. 
Policy may have led Brian to tm-n into 
a foreign channel that restless spirit 
of his pirate subjects -which might 
otherwise have found vent nearerhome. 

2 Prosperity. The Annals do not 
confirm this glowing picture of a 
peaceful reign. 

3 Glandore, anciently Ciiandor [Gol- 
den harbour], a beautiful bay between 
the baronies of E. and W. Carbury, 
S. of the CO. of Cork. In this bay 
is the rock called CUodhna's rock, 
upon which beats a wave called Tonn- 
Chliodhna, Tun^cleena, (Cliodhna's 

wave), said to utter a plaintive sound 
when a monarch of the south of Ireland 
dies. Cliodhna was the name of a fairy 
princess in an ancient Irish legend. See 
the Feis Tighe Chonain (Ossianic Soc), 
pp. 97, 162. 

* Tuaim-Greine. Now Tomgraney, 
a palish in the N.E. of the co. of Clare. 

* Bridges. Maelsechlainn is said 
by the Four M. to have made cause- 
ways or bridges at Athlone and at 
Athliag (now Lanesborough), with 
the assistance of Cathal Ua Con- 
chobhair, King of Connaught, "each 
carrying his portion of the work to the 
middle of the Shannon." A.D. 1000, 
and O'Donovan s note ', p. 744. 



arrives at 

royal forts^ and fortified islands of Munster. He dis- 
pensed a royal hospitality ; administered a rigid and 
impartial justice ; and so continued, in unbroken pros- 
perity, for the remainder of his reign, having been at his 
death thirty-eight years king of Munster, and fifteen 
years sovereign of all Ireland."^ 

Our author proceeds (ch. Ixxxi.) to mention some 
curious circumstances which disturbed this prosperity, 
and led, indirectly at least, to the celebrated battle of 
Clontarf We have already spoken of Maelmordha, King 

1 Royal forts. It will be remarked 
that islands are included in the enu- 
meration of the different kinds of for- 
tresses: "duns, fastnesses, /«?an(is,&c.," 
p. 14 1 . These were the artificial islands 
or crannogs (so called because they 
were made of crann^ trees); — Úi&Pfahl- 
bauten of the Swiss antiquaries. A list 
of the fortifications built or strength- 
ened by Brian is given: — They are — 
1. Caisil, or Cashel, a word which sig- 
nifies a wall, and is translated maceria 
in the Book of Armagh ; see p. clvi., 
n. ^. 2. Ceyin-abrat, or Ceiln Febrath, 
near Kilfinan (as Dr^ O'Donovan con- 
jectured), S.E. of the CO. of Limerick 
(see p. cxxxviii., w.), where there are 
still some fine earthen mounds. 3. 
The island of Loch Cend, a lake near 
Knock-any, co. of Limerick, now dry. 
4. The island of Loch Gau\ now Lough 
Gur, near Bruff. co. of Limerick. 
Considerable remains of this crannog 
exist, which are now the more visible, 
as modern drainage has very much 
reduced the depth of the lake. The 
island is of unusual size, and con- 
tains the ruins of a stone fortification. 
The neighbourhood is full of mega- 
lithic circles and cromlechs. In th* 
lake have been found the finest extant 
specimens of the Cervus Hibernicus, 
or gigantic deer of Ireland. .5. Dun- 
Eochair Maige (or " fort of the bank 
of the [river] Maigiie," co. of Lime- 
rick), probably now Bruree. 6. 

Dán-Cliath, or Dun Cliach, a. fort on 
the hill of Knock-any, territory of 
Cliach, CO. of Limerick. 7. Dún- 
Crot, or Dun-gCrot, a ford at the foot 
of Sliahh gCrot, now Sliabh Grud, one 
of the Galtees, in the glen of Aherlagh, 
CO. of Tipperary. 8. The island of 
Loch Saiglend, unknown. 9. The 
island called Liis an Goill-dubh (island 
of the black foreigner), unknown ; 
see p. XX., supr. Four M., 1013, p. 
770, n. 10. Rosach, ca\\.Qá Rosach-na- 
riogh in the MS. B, now perhaps 
Rossagh, near Doneraile, co. of Cork, 
B. of Lismore, fol. 148, a. 11. Cenn- 
coi-adh, or Kincora, Brian's own resi- 
dence near KUlaloe. 12. Borumha, or 
Bel-Bonimha, a remarkable fort, about 
a mile north of Killaloe. It is said 
that Brian there protected the cattle 
spoil which he levied from Leinster, 
imder the name of Borumh, or Boro- 
mean tribute. 

2 Ireland. See p. 141. The more 
correct date assigns but 12 years to 
Brian's reign as King of Ireland, 
assuming A.D. 1002 to have been his 
first year. Our author quotes the 
bard GioUa-Moduda O'Cassidy as his 
authority for the fifteen years, but 
Keating, quoting the very same stanza, 
although without naming the poet, 
reads twelve j-ears. Giclla-Moduda 
died about 1143. O'Flaherty, Ogyg., 
p. [2J. The metre is not altered by 
either reading. 



of Leinster, and of his sister Gormflaith, who was at this 
time with Brian at Kincora. She is called by our author 
"" Brian's wife/' and " the mother^ of Donnchadh, son of 

Maelmordha arrived at Brian's residence, bringing with 
him three large pine trees to make masts for shipping. 
These were probably the offering or tribute paid by 
Maelmordha as Brian's vassal. The trees had been cut 
in the great forest of Leinster, called Fidh-Gaibhli, now 

He brings 
with him 
three pine 
masts fur 

1 Mother. The three "mariiages" 
of Gormflaith are described in some 
verses quoted by the Four M. (1030), 
as three "leaps" or "jumps, which a 
woman shi)uld never jump." This 
seems to hint that the three leaps were 
not legitimate marriages. They were 
"a leap at Ath Cliath, or Dublin," 
when she married Olaf Cuaran ; " a 
leap at Tara" when she married Mala- 
chy II. ;" and "a leap at Cashel'' when 
she married Brian. The Four ]\I., at 
1009, record the death of Dubhcobh- 
laigh, a wife of Brian [daughter of 
Cathal O'Conchobhair or O'Connor, 
King of Connaught]. This creates 
some difficulty ; for if Brian's marriage 
with Gormflaith took place in or after 
that year, her son Donnchadh could not 
have been old enough to have taken a 
command at the battle of Clontarf. 
If, on the other hand, that marriage 
took place as a part of Brian's policy 
to conciliate the Dublin Danes, after 
Glenmama, A.D. 1000 (see p. cxlviii), 
Donnchadh could not have been more 
than 13 years of age at Clontarf. 
This, it may be said, was probably 
not too young, according to the cus- 
toms of the period ; the clan would 
follow the son of their chieftain as a 
Kighdomhna or possible heir ; but why 
did they follow a boy when they might 
have cViosen one of their late chief- 
tain's elder sons? That there was 
something wrong is evident from the 
fact, that a prophecy, as we shall see, 

was put in Brian's mouth, designating 
Donnchadh as his heir. See p. 201. 
A greater difficulty is that we find 
Gormflaith at Kincora, and she is 
called by our author " Brian's wife," 
at the time of her brother's unfortun- 
ate visit there with his pine masts. 
This must have been after 1009, and, 
therefore, after Gormflaith had been 
repudiated, and after the death of the 
wife Brian had married in her placew 
Possibly after this lady's death Gorm- 
flaith may have visited Kincora in 
the hope of recovering her position ; 
but finding herself coldly received, she 
became "grim" against Brian, as the 
Saga says, and resolved upon a deadly 

The only other explanation of the 
difficulty is probably the true one, that 
Donnchadh was illegitimate, and so 
may have been as old, or nearly as 
old, as Murchadh. We know that 
very lax notions prevailed in that age 
amongst the Irish about concubinage 
and bigamy. The Njal-Saga says 
that Gormflaith was not the mother of 
Brian's sons (meaning, perhaps, that 
she was not the mother of the sons 
whom it names), and also, according to 
Dr. Dasent's version {Burnt NJal, ii., p. 
323), that "Brian was the name of 
the king that Jirst had her to wife." 
But for the word Jiist there does not 
seem to be any authority either in the 
original Icelandic, orin the Latin trans- 
lation, of the Saga. 



Figili.' This forest extended into the teiTÍto]-ies of three 
tribes^ (the Ui Failghe, the Ui Faelain, and the Ui 
Muiredhaigh), at the point where the present count}^ of 
Kildare unites with the King's and Queen's counties. 
Each tribe^ furnished one of the three masts, and each 
tribe sent a party of its men to carry their respective 
trees. When ascending a boggy mountain a dispute 
occurred among the men, probably upon the precedency 
of their tribes, which Maeknordha decided by assisting 
in person to carry the tree of the Ui Faehiin. He had 
on a tunic of silk, which Brian^ had given him, with "a 
border of gold around it, and silver buttons." By the 
exertion he made in lifting the tree, one of the buttons 
came off; and on his arrival at Kincora, he applied 
to his sister Gormflaith to replace it. She took the tunic 
and cast it into the fire, reproaching him, in bitter and 
insulting language, for his meanness in submitting to be 
a servant or vassal to any man, and adding that neither 

1 FigilL Or Feegile. The name re- 
mains in the parish of Clonsast, King's 
CO., a few miles N. of Portarlington. 

^ Three tribeS' The district inhabit- 
ed by the Ui Faelain occupies about 
the northern half of the county of Kil- 
dare, including the baronies of Clane 
and Salt, Ikeathy and Oughterany. 
B. of Rights, p. 206, n. The Ui 
Muiredhaigh (called by the English, 
Omurethi, O'Toole's original country) 
M'ere seated in the southern portion of 
the CO. of Kildare, viz., in the baronies 
of Kilkea and Moone, E. and W. Nar- 
ragh, with Reban, and parts of Connell. 
Ibid., p. 210. The territory of Ui 
Failghe consisted of the baronies of 
E. and W. Offaly, county of Kildare, 
those of Portnahinch and Tinnahinch, 
in the Queen's county, and that por- 
tion of King's county which is in the 
dioceses of Kildare and Leighliu. Jbid., 
p. 21(J, n. 

s £ach tribe. The MS. D, adds to 

the three tribes the Laighis or Leix, 
and the three Commains. OClery 
seems to have rejected this reading, 
and it is probably an interpolation. 
If it were true there ought to have 
been more than three masts. The 
district of Leix, in the Queen's co., ad- 
joins the site of the ancient wood of 
Fidh Gaibhli. The three Commains 
were septs in the N. of the present co. 
of Kilkenny, and S. of the Queen's co., 
on the borders of the ancient Osraighe 
or Ossoiy. They were, therefore, at 
a considerable distance from the wood 
of Fidh-Gaibhli. For an account of 
Leix see £. ofEiffhts, p. 214, n. P. 

* Brian. It is worthy of note that 
one of the rights to which the King of 
Naas (i.e., of Leinster), was entitled 
from the King of Ireland was "Una 
textured clothes at Tara," and, there- 
fore, after Tara was abandoned, 
wherever the King held his court. B. 
of Rights, p. 251. 



his father or grandfather^ woiild ever have j'ielaed to 
such indignity. 

Her words naturally irritated Maebnordha, and pre- He takes 
pared him to resent every insult. An occasion soon pre- °^^^<=^- 
sented itself Brian's eldest son,^ Murchadli, or Mur- 
rogh, was playing a game of chess wath his cousin 
Conaing,^ when Maelmordha, looking on, suggested a 
move, by which Murchadh lost the game. Angered at 
this he said to Maelmordha, " That was like the adNdce 
you gave to the Danes, which lost them Glenmama." 
The other answered, " I will give them ad\dce now, and 
they shall not be again defeated." Mmxhadh replied, 
" Then you had better remind them to prepare a 3^ew 
tree^ for your reception." 

This insult set fire to the fuel, and early the next Quits 
morning Maelmordha quitted the house in wrath, "with- Brian's 
out permission, and without taking leave" (p. 145). anger. 

Brian hearing this sent a messenger to entreat of him 
to return and listen to an explanation. Cogarán, the 
messenger (see p. cxxx\t..), overtook him at the bridge 
of Killaloe as he was mounting his horse. But the King 

1 Grandfather. Her grandfather 
was Finu, chieftain of the Ui Failghe 
(or Offaly), si. 928, who was the son 
of Maebnordha, son of Conchobhar, 
ch, of Offaly (ob. 921). Fmn had a 
son, Murchadh (si. 970), who was the 
father of Maelmordha, King of Lein- 
ster (si. at Clontarf, lOU), and of 
Gormflaith. Finn had also a son, Con- 
chobhair (ob. 977), who was the father 
of Congalach (ob. 1017), father of Con- 
chobhar (ancestor of O'Concobhair 
FaOghe, or O'Connor Faly), father of 
Brogarbhan (si. at Clontarf, 101 i). 
Gormflaith died 1020. Maelmordha, 
King of Lcinster, Gormflaith's brother, 
had a son, Bran, who was the ancestor 
of the Ui Brain, or O'Byrne, of Lein- 
ster. He was blinded by his cousin, 
Sitric, King of Dublin (his father's 
great ally), in 1018 (1017 Four M.). 

He died at Cologne, 1052. See Ann. 

^ Eldest son. Brian's first wife was 
Mór, daughter of Eidhin, ancestor of 
the OhEidhin (now O'Heyne), of the 
race of Guaire Aidhne, King of Con- 
naught. See O'Donovan's By Fiach- 
rach (p. 398). By her Brian had three 
sons — 1. Murchadh; 2. Conchobhar; 3. 
Flann ; all slain at Clontarf. The N jal- 
Saga erroneously states that Brian's 
son, Donnchadh, was the eldest, misled 
probably because, owing to Murchadh 's 
death, he succeeded his father as Kinf' 
of Munster. Burnt Xjal, ii., p. 323. 

3 Conaing. Son of Brian's brother, 
Donncuan. Conaing was aftei-wards 
slain at Clontarf, Others suppose that 
Conamg O'CarroU, erenach of Glenda- 
lough, was intended. See note i, p. 1 ié. 
^ Ttvj tree. See above, p. cxlix. 



Excites the of Leinster's irritation had not yet subsided ; he struck 
tribes to ^^® ill-fated Cogarán a violent blow on the skull with a 
revolt. stick, and "broke all the bones of his head." Maelmordha 
then returned^ in haste to his own territory, and lost no 
time in making known to his tribe the gi'eat insult he 
had received, using all his influence to excite them to 
avenge his wrongs. They resolved upon a revolt, and 
messengers were sent to Flaithbhertach (or Flaherty), son 
of Muirchertach^ O'Neill, to FergaP O'Rourke, King of 
Brefne, and to Ualgarg O'Ciardha,'' King of Cairbre 
O'Ciardha (now the barony of Carbury, in the N.W. of 

1 Returned. A minute account of the 
route Maelmordha took on his ■way to 
Leinster is given. Leaving Killaloe 
he spent the first night at Sen Leas 
Abáinn [old fort of St. Abban], in the 
district of the Vi mBuidhi, which -was 
in the Queen's county (baronies of 
Ballyadams and Slievemargy), on the 
river now called Douglas, a tributary 
of the Barrow. Here he remained for 
the night at the house of Mac Berdai 
(now Berry), chieftain of the Ui 
mBuidhi. The distance from Killaloe 
to this place cannot have been less 
than sixty statute miles, a good day's 
journey. The next morning he stopped 
at Garbh-thamhnach [rough field], 
othenvise Garbh - thonnach [rough 
mound or rampart], an ancient seat of 
the kings of Leinster, in the territory 
of the Ui Muiredhaigh (see p. clxii., 
n~), between Naas and Maynooth. The 
exact site has not been ascertained. 
The house seems to have been then 
occupied by Dunlaing, son of Tuathal, 
King of Western Life, ancestor of the 
Ui Tuathail, or O'Toole's of Lein- 
ster. See Four M., 1013, and O'Do- 
no van's note ^. At this place Mael- 
mordha summoned the tribes to meet 
him, and organized the revolt. These 
particulars of Maelmordha's jouniey 
axe so accurately consistent with the 

; geography of the country that they 
should be regarded as undesigned evi- 
dences of the authenticity of the nar- 

2 Muirchertach. This Muircher- 
tach was son of Domhnall, King of 
Ireland, and brother of Aedh O'Neill, 
late chieftain of Ailech, of whom we 
have already spoken. See Gen. Table 
I., p. 245. His son Flaithbhertach, 
who succeeded Aedh, was called an 
trostain, "Flaherty of the pilgrim's 
staff," because he went on a pilgrimage 
to Rome in 1030. See Circuit of Ire- 
land, p. 63. 

3 Fergal. This ought to be Aedh, 
son of Fergal Ua Ruairc, or O'Rourke, 
if indeed it be not entirely without 
foundation. Fergal himself was slain 
in 964 (Four M.) =965 {Ann. Vlt.) 
Aedh, son of Fergal, is here called 
King of Brefne, a district comprising 
the present counties of Leitrim and 
Cavan, but formerly a part of Con- 
naught. His father, Fergal, was King 
of Connaught. /owr J/., 964. Topogr. 
Poems, xxxvi. (262). 

^ O'Ciardha. This family is now 
reduced to poverty, and the name, 
anglicized Keary and Carey, is to be 
found principally among the peasantry 
of Kildare and Meath. See O'Dono- 
van, Hy Fiac/irack, p. 266, 7iote. 



the county of Kildare), and these all promised their aid 
against Brian (p. 147). 

They kept their word. Flaherty O'Neill ravaged The inva- 
Meath, and slew Osli [or Flosi] son of Dubhcenn, ^ son ^^^^^^i 
of Ivar of Limerick, one of Brian's confidential stewards, 
whom he seems to have appointed to uphold his interests 
in Meath. Ualgarg O'Ciardha and Ferghal [or Aedh] 
O'Rourke attacked Malachy ; they plundered the Gail- 
enga,^ in Meath, and slew Malachy's grandson, Domhnall, 
son of Donnchadh, who would have been heir of Tara 
if the ordinary rule of the succession had been observed. 
Many other chieftains^ also were slain on this occasion. Defeated 
But Malachy overtook the assailants, and defeated them ^^ ^^^i^a- 
in a bloody battle, in which Ualgarg O'Ciardha, King of 
Cairbré, and Tadlig O'Cearnachan, sub-King of Brefné, 
with many others, fell. This event the Four Masters 
have assigned to the year 1013. 

Encouraged by this success, Malachy pursued his vie- Who piun- 
tory, and dividing his forces into "three plundering ^^®^'"^^^®^"^ 
parties" (p. 149), ravaged the country as far as Ben as Howth. 
Edair, now Howth, attacking principally the foreigners. 

1 Dubhcenn. See above, pp. cii., 

2 Gailenga, now the barony of Mor- 
gallion, CO. of Meath, -which is the 
anglicized pronunciation of Mór-Gai- 
lenga, the great Gailenga. Of this dis- 
trict O'Leochain was the chieftain. 
Another district called GaUenga-beaga, 
or little GaUenga, nearer Dublin, in- 
cluded the monaster^' of Glas-Xoeidh- 
in, now Glasnevin. The chieftain of 
this district was O hAenghusa (now 
Hennessy). There was another set- 
tlement of the Gailenga, in the co. of 
Mayo, in Connaught. The tribe were 
descended from Cormac Gailenga, son 
of Tadhg, son of Cian, son of Oilioll 
Glum, King of Munster. This Cormac 
was surnamed Gailenga, because he 
bad displaced an ancient tribe of the 

Firbolg called Clanna Gaileoin, or Gai- 
lenga. Irish Nennius, p. 49. 

^ Other chieftains. Cemach, son of 
Flann, King of Lini (Luighne, Four 
J/.), and Senan Ua Leuchan (Ua Leo- 
chain, Four J/.), King of Gailenga, are 
mentioned. The Lini or Luighne de- 
rived their name from Luigh, son of 
Cormac Gailenga (see last note), and 
were, in fact, a branch of the Gailenga. 
Their territory in Connaught was 
identical with the diocese of Achadh 
Conaire (now Aehonry), but they were 
also settled in East Meath, and there 
their name is preserved in that of the 
barony of Lune, which, however, re- 
presents only a small part of their 
original possessions. Cemach, son of 
Flann, was King of the Meath Luighne. 
B. of Rights, p. 186, n. 



The Danes 
and Lein- 



But Maelmordha, with his nephew Sitric, son of Olaf 
Cuaran, gathered the Danish and Leinster forces, encoun- 
tered Malachy, and cut off the whole of one of his three 
phmdering parties. In this action were slain Flann, 
surnamed Albanach,' son of Malachy, Lorcan, son of 
Echtighern, King of the Cinel Mechah*,^ and " two hun- 
di-ed others along with them." 

The foreigners, with their Leinster allies, then organized 
an expedition to Meath (ch. Ixxxv.), into the very heart 
of Malachy 's kingdom,^ which they plundered as far as 
Fobhar of Fechin,* and carried oft captives and cattle 
innumerable, not respecting even the very Termon or 
sanctuary of St. Fechin. 

After having endured these outrages, Malachy sent 
messeno-ers to Brian to demand the protection^ to which 
as a vassal he was entitled. 

The war had now commenced. Brian, with his own 
Munster troops and his allies from Connaught, entered 
Leinster, and ravaged Ossory (ch. Ixxxvi.) His son 
Murchadh, in command of another army, devastated 
Leinster as far as the monastery of St. Caemhgen, or 
St. Kevin, at Glendaloch, in the county of Wicklow. He 

1 Albanack, i.e., the Scotch. See 
note 10, p. lis. According to the 
Four ISI. this battle was fought in 
1012, at Draighnen, now Drinan, near 
Kinsaley, county of Dublin, Flann 
Albanach, son of Malachy, was the 
ancestor of Diarmaid, commonly called 
MacMurrough, at whose invitation the 
Norman knights of Henrj- II. invaded 

2 Cinel Mechair. This family is 
now Meagher, or Maker. Their tribe 
name was Ui Cairin, whence the barony 
of Ikerrin, county of Tipperary. 

3 Kingdom. This chapter (Ixxxv.) 
does not occur in theO'Clerj' orBrus- 
seVs MS. The Four M. take no notice 
of this plundering of jSIeath as far as 
Fobhar; but it is mentioned in the 

Dublin^lrera. Inisfall. at 1013, doubtless 
on the authority of the present work. 

* Fobhar of Fechin. Now Fore, 
a famous monaster}' in the N.E. of 
Westmeath, foimded by St. Fechin in 
the 7th century. 

^Protection. The words are, "pray- 
ing him not to permit the Brefne [co. 
of Cavan], or the Cairbre [co. of Kil- 
dare], or the Cinel Eoghain [the 
O'Neills of TjTone], to come all toge- 
ther against him," p. 1-19. Is it 
likely that Malachy, smarting under 
the great losses here described, would 
so soon afterwards treacherously join 
the party of his bitterest enemies 
against his own true interests, as the 
Dalcassian authors would persuade us 
he did? 



burnt and ravaged the whole country, carrying off cap- 
tives and cattle, until he arrived at Cill Maighnenn,' 
and the Green of Dublin, which was probably the plain 
between Kilmainham and the city. 

Here Brian joined him ; and they blockaded Dublin, Dublin 
remaining encamped before it from the festival of St. ^^°'^'^^'^^'^- 
Ciaran^ in Harvest to Christmas Day. But the Danish 
garrison of Dubhn kept closely within their walls, and at 
Christmas, for want of provisions, Brian was forced to 
raise the siege and return home. 

Things remained quiet during the following winter. Sitric and 
But in spring, about the festival of St. Patrick (17th of ^^°™f ^'^^ 
March), Brian began to organize another expedition Scandina- 
against Dublin and the King of Leinster (ch. Ixxxvii., p. ^^^ ^ ^^' 
151), and he had now no time to lose. Sitric, of Dublin, 
and his mother, Gormflaith, with King Maelmordha, 
were actively engaged in collecting forces for the final 
struggle. Our author says, " They sent ambassadors 
everywhere around them to gather troops unto them, to 
meet Brian in battle." Brodar, the earl, and Amlaibh, 
son of the King of Lochlann, " the two earls of Cair^ 
and of all the north of Saxon land," are particularly men- 
tioned. They are described as pagans, " having no vene- 
ration, respect, or mercy for God or man, for church or 
sanctuary (p. 153). They came at the head of 2,000 
men, who are represented as hard-hearted, ferocious 
mercenaries ; " and there was not one villain of that 
2,000 who had not polished, strong, triple-plated armour 
of refined iron or of cool uncorroding brass, encasing 
tlieir sides and bodies from head to foot." 

^ an 3fatghnenn, now Kilmainham, 
near Dublin. 

- St. Ciaran. The festival of St. 
Ciaran, in harvest, i.e., of St. Ciaran 
of Clonmacnois, was Sept. 9th. The 
festival of the older Ciaran of Saighir, 
or Seir-kiaran, was March oth. 

* Cair, This is evidently corrupted. 
.See p. 151, note l*. Cair'is pro"bably 

meant for Cair-Ebroc, or York (see p. 
165) ; but in B. Brodar is called Earl 
of Cair Ascadal, and instead of Am- 
laibh, we find "Ascadal of Cair Asca- 
dal" associated with Brodar. The 
Danes of Dublin were always in close 
connexion with their coimtrymen in 
York and Xorthumberland ; but the 
Njal-Saga makes no mention of York. 



Additional Then our author gives a list' of the Soandinavian and 
supniiedTn- other auxiliaries, who, he expressly says, were " invited" 
the Njai- by the Dublin Danes to join them in resisting Brian. 
"^ ° ' The Njal-Saga supplies some particulars of this invi- 
tation, which throw considerable light on the secret 
springs of the conspiracy. Gormflaith had sent her son 
Sitric to Sigurd, earl of the Orkneys, who consented to 
join the confederacy on the conditions that, in the event 
of its success, he was to be King of Ireland, and to have 
the hand of Gormflaith. Sitric did not hesitate to 
promise him this. On his return he informed his mother 
of the arrangement he had made, and she expressed her- 
self well pleased, but sent him forth again to collect 
greater forces. She directed him to the Isle of Man, 
where there lay on the west coast two Vikings, with 
thirty ships, and she commanded him to engage their 
services " whatever price they might ask." 

Sitric soon found them. They were brothers ; one was 
named Ospak ; the other was Brodir, who refused to give 
his aid except on the conditions, which Earl Sigurd had 
also required, namely, the kingdom and Gormflaith's 

Ospak and 


^ List. See p. 153. These are: — 
1. Siugrad, son of Lotar (Hlodver, or 
Ludovicus), called Sigurd in the Njal- 
Saga, Earl of Insi Ore, or the Orkney 
Islands, See his genealogy, Bui-nt 
Njal ii., p. 11, ch. 84. 2. He was 
followed by the foreigners from the 
Orkneys, and from Insi Cat, possibly 
the Shetland islands. 3. There came 
also the foreigners of Manann (Isle of 
Man) ; of Sci, now Skye; of Leodhus, 
now Lewis ; of Cind-Tiri (Cantire) ; 
and of Airer-Gaeidhil, now Argyle. 4. 
There were also two Barons of Corn 
Bretan or Cornwall; and Corn-da- 
bliteoc, of the Britons of Cill Muni 
(now St. David's, in Pembrokeshire). 
In another reading of this last clause, 
which shows that it was obscure to 
the ancient transcribers, Combliteoc 

is spoken of as the name of a country. 
See note ^i, p. 153. Corn-da-bliteoc, 
or Cornablitheoc, is mentioned here 
and in a subsequent part of the narra- 
tive as the name of a chieftain. See 
pp. 173, 163. 5. Carlus and Ebric, 
or Elbric, " two sons of the King of 
France." The King of France was at 
that time Eobert II., son of Hugh 
Capet ; but these may have been the 
sons of some inferior djmast of France. 
In another place (see p. 165), Elbric 
is described as "son of the King of 
Lochlann." 6. Plat or Plait, "a 
strong knight of Lochlann," called 
" son of the King of Lochlann, brave 
champion of the foreigners." 7. The 
hero Conmael, or asB. reads, "Maol," 
He is called Brodar's mother's son, p. 


hand. Sitric made no scruple to comply, stipulating only 
that tlie agreement was to be kept secret, and that Earl 
Sigurd especially was to know nothing about it. Accord- 
ingly, Brodir gave his word to be at Dublin on Palm 
Sunday, the day that had been previously fixed with 
Sigurd' and the other conspirators. 

" Brodir," according to the Saga, " had been a Christian Descriiition 
man, and a mass-deacon by consecration, but he had °^ Krodar. 
thrown ofi" his faith and become God's dastard, and now 
worshipped heathen fiends, and he was of all men most 
skilled in sorcery. He had that coat of mail on which 
no steel would bite. He was both tall and strong, and 
had such long locks that he tucked them under his belt. 
His hair was black." Such is the Scandinavian descrip- 
tion"^ of the man who was destined, after the battle that 
followed, to slaughter in cold blood the great King Brian, 
and to be himself slain at the same moment. 

Ospak, however, refused to fight against " the good Ospak 
King Brian ;" and certain prodigies, which the Saga de- i^™^^^ 
scribes, determined him to separate himself from his 
brother. He " vowed to take the true faith, and to go 
to King Brian, and follow him till his death day." So he 
escaped with ten ships, leaving Brodir twenty, and sailing 
westwards to Ireland, " he came to Connaught," to Brian's 
house, that is to say, to Cenn-coradh, or Kincora, on the 
Shannon. " Then Ospak told King Brian all that he liad 
learnt, and took baptism, and gave himself over into the 
king's hand."^ 

In consequence of Sitric's exertions " a very great The 

Cluster at 


^ Siffurd. Burnt Njal,ii., pp. 327, 

2 Description. Ibid, p. 329. It 
has been suggested that Brodir's real 
name is lost. He was Ospak's brother, 
and Brodir was mistaken for a proper 
name. If so, the mistake was made 
by the Scandinavian autliorities as 
well as by the Irish. Maurer (quoted 
by Dasent. Burnt Xjal,, i., p. clxxxix.. 

note), conjectures that he may liave 
been the Danish sea-king, Gutring, 
who was an apostate deacon. 

3 The kinffs hand. Burnt Njal, ii., 
p. 332. The Irish accounts of the 
battle make no mention of Ospak, 
or of his conversion to Christianity ; 
in other respects they are not incon- 
sistent with the story as told in thu 





fleet"' assembled from various quarters at Dublin. 
Within the city itself Maelmordha had mustered a con- 
siderable force, which he divided into three great bat- 
talions, consisting of the " muster of Laighin," or men of 
Leinster, who were under his own immediate command, 
with the Ui Cennselaigh, or Hy-Kinshela, whose country 
was the county of Wexford. 

Brian meanwhile had advanced towards Dublin (ch. 
Ixxxviii.) with " all that obeyed him of the men of Ire- 
land," namely, the provincial troops of Munster and Con- 
naught, with the men of Meath. But these last, although 
they came to his standard, were suspected of disaffection, 

1 Fleet. See p. 153. The unpub- 
lished Annals of Loch Ce give the fol- 
lowing account of Sitric's auxiliaries: 
— " There had arrived there [viz., at 
Dublin] the chosen braves and chief- 
tains of the island of Britain from 
Caer Eabhrog, and from Caer Eighist, 
and from Caer Goniath. Tliere had 
arrived there also most of the kings 
and chieftains, knights and warriors, 
and heroes of valour, and brave men 
of the north of the world : both Black 
Lochlanns, and White Lochlanns, in 
companionship and in alliance with 
the Gain ; so that they were in Ath- 
cliath with the son of Amlaff, to offer 
warfare and battle to the Gaedliil. 
There arrived there Siograd Finn 
[the vshite'] and Siograd Donn [the 
Irowii], two sons of Lothair, earl of 
the Orkney islands, with the armies of 
the Orkney islands along with them. 
There arrived there moreover an im- 
mense army from the Insi Gall [the 
Hebrides], and from Man, and from 
the Rennaor Srenna [a district of Gal- 
loway?], and from the British [i.e., 
Welsh], and from thePlemenna [Flem- 
ings?]. There arrived there also 
Brodar, earl of Caer Eablirog, with 
numerous liosts ; and Uithir, the black, 
i.e., the soldier of Eighist; and Grisine, 
the Flemish pugilist ; and Greisiam, of 

the Normans. There arrived there a 
thousand heroes of the black Danars, 
bold, brave, valiant, witli shields, and 
witli targets, and with many corslets, 
from Thatinn [?], who were with them. 
There were there also immense armies, 
and the warlike victorious bands of 
Fine Gall [FingalQ, and the merchants 
who came from the lands of France, and 
from the Saxons, and from the Britons 
and Romans. There had arrived there, 
too, Maolmordha, son of Murchadh, 
son of Finn, chief king of the province 
of Leinster, with the kmgs, and cliief- 
tains, and stout heroes of Leinster, 
and with the j^ouths and champions 
along with him, in the same Following. 
Great indeed was the Following and 
the Muster that came there. Warlike 
and haughty was the uprising that 
they made there, namely, the war- 
riors and champions of the Gaill and 
the Gaedhil of Leinster, against the 
battalions of the Munster- men, and to 
ward off from them the oppression of 
Brian Borumha ; and six great bat- 
talions was the full force of the Danes, 
i.e., a battalion to guard the fortress 
[of Dublin] within, and five batta- 
lions to contend against the Gaedhil." 
Annals of Loch Cc (MS. Trm. Coll., 
Dublin), A.D. 1014. 



for Brian knew, adds our author, " that they would desert 
him' at the approach of the battle," — a piece of treachery 
of which they were not guilty. On his way to Dublin 
Brian plundered the districts of Ui Gabhla, or Ui Gabhra, 
and Ui Dunchadha.- He advanced into Fine-gall or 
Fingall,^ and burned Cill-Maighnenn, now Kilmainham,^ 
Brian then sent his son Donnchadh, or Donogh, with " the 
new levies"^ of the Dal Cais, and the third battalion of 
Munster, to plunder Leinster, whose people and soldiery, 
its natural protectors, were now engaged in the garrison 
of Dublin. He himself remained to watch Dubhn, and 
to plunder the Danish country around it. 

The blaze of the burning in Fingall, which included the The enemy 
neighboui'ing district of Edar, now Howth, soon attracted "f,^*^/ 

° . ^ . . sally from 

the attention of the enemy's troops within the city, and Dublin, 
they at once sallied foi-th in battle array to attack Brian 
in the plain of Magh-nEalta,^ "raising on high their 
standards of battle." 

1 Desert him. This accusation was, 
no doubt, the result of the party spirit, 
which sought to blacken as much as 
possible the character of IMalachy and 
his Meath-men, in order to justify 
Brian's usurpation of the kingdom. 
See a paper by the editor of the 
present work, in which reasons are 
given to clear Malachj'- of this charge ; 
Proceedings, Royal Irish Acad., vol. 
<vii., p. 498, sq. It may be added 
that the accusation was evidently dis- 
believed by the Four M., who make no 
mention of it. See also Moore's Hist, 
of Ireland, ii., 108. 

2 Ui Gabhra, and Ui Dunchadha. 
See above, p. cxliii, note 8. 

3 Fingall. So called from Fine-gall, 
"district or territory of the foreign- 
ers," who had settled there. See Four 
M., 1052; Reeves' xl íZfl7«naíi, p. 108, n. 
Comp. St. Patrick, Apost. of Ireland, 
295, n. ^. This was a district in the 
county of Dublin, extending aloug the 
coast from the citv to the river Ailbhine 

(now the Delvin), the northern limit 
of the county. Ui Dunchadha was 
probably that part of the county of 
Dublin which lies south of the Liffey. 
^ Kilmainham. The MS. B adds 
"and Clondalkin." These famous 
monasteries were now in the hands of 
the pagan enemy, and therefore their 
sanctity was no longer respected even 
by Brian. 

5 New levies. Lit. " Gray Levies." 
See note w^ p. 154. 

6 Magh-nEalta. "Plain of the 
Flocks." This was the ancient name of 
the great plain lying between the Hill 
of Howth and the Hill of Tamhlacht 
(now Tallaght), co. of Dublin. That 
part of it which afterwards got the 
name of Clontarf, was anciently called 
Sen Magh-nEalta Edair, " Old plain 
of the flocks of Edair." Four M., 
A.M. 2550. Edar was a chieftain, 
who is said to have flourished a few 
years before the Christian era. O'Fla- 
hertij, Ogyg., p. 271. 

lib 2 



Brian holds 
a council 
of war. 

Proposal of 
the pirates 
to Brian. 

origin of 
the storv. 

Brian was then encamped on the Plain, or Green, of 
Dublin Q). 1.55). There he held a council of war with 
the principal chieftains' of his army. We are not told 
the subject of their deliberations ; but the result seems to 
liave been a determination to risk a general engagement 
on the following morning. 

The pirates, according to some accounts, had on that 
night spent their pay (chap, xc, p. 157), and had resolved 
to ret\irn to their homes. They had gone as far as Benn- 
Edair, or Howth, where they had left theh- ships. Dreading 
the valour of the Dal Cais, and of Murchadh especially, they 
had promised Brian that if he would delay " the burning," 
that is to say, the burning and plunder of Fingall, until 
the morrow's sunrise, they would set sail and never come 
to Ireland again ; but now, when they saw that the devas- 
tation of the country had begun, they resolved to have 
their share of the plunder, and prepared to commence the 
fight in the morning.'^ 

This story seems in itself very improbable ; but it may 

^Chieftains. The members present 
at this council are enumerated thu.s : 1. 
The nobles of Dal-Cais. 2. Maelseach- 
lainn, late King of Ireland, now King 
of Meath. 3. Murchadh, Brian's eldest 
son. 4. Conaing, son of Brian's 
brother Donncuan, lord of Ormond. 
5. Tadhg an eich-gill [Teige of the 
white horse], son of Cathal, son of 
Conchobhair, king of Connaught ; with 
the nobles of Connaught. 6. The 
men of Munster, meaning, of course, 
the chieftains. 7. The men of Meath. 
" But it happened," adds our author, 
" that Maelsechlainn and the men of 
Meath were not of one mind with the 
rest." What the difference of opinion 
was is not said ; but this clause is 
doubtless connected with the Munster 
calumny against Malachy and his 

2 Morning. The next chap. (Ixxxix. 
p. 1 55-7) is a manifest interpolation, 
and does not occur in the O'Clery or 

Brussel's MS. B. It tells how Brian, 
looking behind him, beheld the "bat- 
tle phalanx" of Fergal Ua Ruairc 
(O'Eourke), with three score and ten 
banners of various colours, and esjie- 
cially the victorious " gold-spangled " 
banner of O'Rourke himself, King of 
the territory of West Breifne [Leitrim] 
and of Conmaicne, i.e., of Conmaicne 
Muighe-Rein, a district nearly co- 
extensive with the diocese of Arda^h. 
Besides Fergal himself, these troops 
had for their leader Domhnall, son 
of Ragallach [Keillyj, ancestor of 
the family of O'Reilly of East Breifne 
(county of Cavan), and Gilla-na- 
naerah, son of Domhnall, and grandson 
of Fergal, ancestor of the family of 
O'Ferghail, now O'Farrell. Neither 
of these chieftains is mentioned in 
the annals, and indeed the whole story 
bears internal evidence of fabrication, 
for Fergal O'Ruairc was slain A.D. 
966 [96-1, Four M.\ and our author 



have been founded on the fact, vaguely reported, and not 
very clearly understood, that the pagan leaders were 
anxious to delay the commencement of the battle until 
Good Friday ; for the Viking Brodir, as we read in the 
Njal-Saga, had found by his sorcery " that if the fight 
were on Good Friday, King Brian would fall, but win the 
day ; but if they fought before, they would all fall who 
were against him." ^ The pretended flight of a body of the 
Norsemen, and their promise to Brian to quit Ireland for 
ever if he delayed the combat, was a not unhkely strata- 
gem to induce him to postpone the battle to the fated 
Friday morning. 

Our author next proceeds (ch. xciv., p. 163) to give an Di'sposition 
account of the manner in which the " battalions" of the pa^jgjj 
enemy were disposed. The foreign Danes, and auxiliaries, forces, 
were placed in the front of the army, under the command 
of Brodir^ or (Brodar, as the Irish authorities spell the 

had already set him down amongst 
Brian's enemies. See p. 147, and p. 
clxiv, n. 3. The story, however (p. 
257), goes on to say that Fergal (who 
was also King of Connaught), with his 
attendant nobles, was received with 
great respect and state by Brian as well 
as by his son, Murchadh, "who rose up 
to him, and seated him in his own place" 
in the tent. Fergal then, in reph^ to 
Brian's question, " What news ?" in- 
formed him that Aedh, sou of Ualgarg 
Ua Ciardha, King of Cairbre (now the 
barony of Carbury, county of Kil- 
dare), had refused to come to the bat- 
tle. His father, it will be remembered, 
had been slain by Malachy the year 
before. See p. 149. Brian tliereupon 
cursed the Ui Ciardha and the Ui Cair- 
bre, and blessed Fergal and the men 
of Brefne. All this is evidently the 
clumsy attempt of a clansman to ob- 
tain for his chieftain the glory of 
having been on the victorious side in 
"the battle of Brian." 
The bombastic narrative that fol- 

lows (ch. xci. and xcii.) is also a pal- 
pable forgery, and does not occur in 
the MS. B. It contains an account of 
the arms and armour, first of the 
Danes, and then of the Dal-Cais ; but 
the description is evidently unauthen- 
tic. It makes no mention of the na- 
tional battle-axe in speaking of the 
offensive armour- of the Danes, but 
attributes to the Dal-Cais the posses- 
sion of " glaring, bright, broad, well- 
set LocJilann axes." 

1 Against him. Burnt Njall, vol. ii., 
p. 833. 

2 Brodir. He is here called Earl 
of Cair Ebroc, or York, and " chief- 
tain of the Danars.'' His mother's 
son, Conmael, cannot have been the 
same as Ospak, mentioned in the 
Saga as Brodir's brother, because 
Ospak had gone over to Brian's side 
from the beginning. Conmael, when 
mentioned before (see p. 153), was 
simply called "the hero." The name 
is Celtic ; but no notice of him occurs 
in the Irish Annals. 



name), with Conmael, "liis mother's son," Sigurd, earl 
of the Orkneys, and other chieftams of inferior note.^ A 
second battalion was formed as a kind of rear-guard in 
support of the foreign Danes. This was composed of 
the Danes of Dublin, under the command of Dubhgall, 
son of Amlaf ;^ Gilla-Ciarain, son of Glun-iarainn, son of 
Amlaf, or Olaf Cuaran ; Donchadh, grandson of Erulbh f 
and Amlaf or Olaf Lagmund, son of Goffraith. There 
were also in command of subdivisions of this second 
battalion Ottir Dubh (or the black), Grisin (or Griiin), 
Lummin, and Snadgair, four petty kings of the foreigners, 
and chieftains of ships ; with " the nobles of the foreigners 
of Ireland." The third battalion, formed of the Leinster 
men and Ui Cennselaigh, was stationed behind the Dublin 
Danes. They were commanded by Maelmordha, King of 
Leinster, and other chieftains of that pro^'ince.* 

I Inferiornote. P. 165. These are — 
1. Plait, "the bravest knight of all the 
foreigners.'' See p. 153. 2. Anrath, 
or Anrad, son of Elbric. Elbric is 
here called " son of the King of Loch- 
lann;" although when he was men- 
tioned before, p. 153, he is said to 
have been one of the sons of the King 
of France. 3. Carlus was also (p. 
153) said to have been a son of the 
King of France. Here his name only 
occurs. These discrepancies show 
that we can put no great confidence in 
these lists of chieftains. 4. Torbenn, 
the black. 5. Sunin. 6. Suanin. 
7. " The nobles of the foreigners of 
western Europe, from Lochlann west- 

2 Amlaf. This Amlaf or Olaf was 
the son of Sitric, King of Dublin. 
He was slain in an incursion of the 
foreigners into Munster, in which Cork 
was burned (^Faur M., A.D. 1012). 
Dubhgall was, therefore, Sitric's grand- 

3 Donchadh, grandson of Erulbh. 

These chieftains are called in the text 

(p. 165) the four '■'■crown princes of 

the foreigners." The word riyhdomhna, 

translated " crown prince," signifies 

not necessarily the next heir to a throne 

or chieftaincy, but one who was eligible, 

and might legally be elected. The 

family of O'h-Eruilbh (Heriolfr) was 

of Danish origin, and was seated in 

the neighbourhood of Kildare. Amlaf, 

or Olaf, Lagmund was the son of 

Goffraith (King of the Hebrides and 

Isle of Man, son of Harold, son of 

Sitric of Limerick). This Goffraith 

was slain in Dalaradia, A.D. 989. 

Tighernach; Ann. Ult.; Bruty Tyivys., 

970, 981 ; Ann. Cambr., 982, 987. 

• ■* Province. The chieftains named 

are — 1. Boetan, sonof Dunlang, King 

of Western Leinster. 2. Dunlang, son 

of Tuathal, King of Liffey. His father, 

Tuathal, was the son of the Ugaire 

who was slain by the Danes at the 

battle of Cenn Fuait, in 916, (see p. 

, 35, and p. Ixxxix., note -), and who 

1 was the son of Ailill (slain 869), son of 



Then follows (chap, xcv.) a description of the disposition Disposition 
of Brian's army.^ In the van, and immediately opposed army!^'^^ 
to the foreign auxiliaries of the enemy, were the brave 
Dal-Cais and the Clann Luighdech,^ under the command 
of Murchadh, Brian's eldest son, on whom a bombastic 

Dunlang (slain 867). Tuathal was the 
ancestor of the families of O'Tuathail 
or OToole ; of Ui Muireadhaigh ; Ui 
Mail ; and Feara Cualainn. 3. Bro- 
garbhau, King of UiFailgheorOfialey. 
See p. clxiii, n. '. 4. Domhnall, son of 
Fergal. He -svas chieftain of the For- 
tuatha Laighen, and descended from 
Finnchadh, son of Garchu, chieftain 
of the Hi GaiTchon, who resisted St. 
Patrick. For the situation of the 
Fortuatha Laighen ('' foreign tribes of 
Leinster") in the county of Wicklow, 
see B. of Rights^ p. 207, note. 

1 Army. There is considerable dis- 
crepancy between this account and 
that of the Xjal Saga, which malies 
no mention of Murchadh. We are 
there told that Brodir, and Sitr^-gg of 
Dublin, commanded the wings, and 
Earl Sigurd the centre of the Danish 
army. In the Irish army Ulf Hroda, 
translated in Burnt Xjal, ''Wolf the 
quarrelsome," commanded the wing 
opposed to Brodir, Ospak the other 
Aving opposed to Sitrygg, and Ker- 
thialfad the centre. Brodir felled all 
before him, but although "no steel 
would bite on his mail," Ulf Hroda 
thrust at him so hard that Brodir fell 
before him, and having recovered his 
feet with great difficulty, fled into the 
neighbouring wood, where he watched 
his opportunity, and issued forth to 
slav Brian. Kerthialfad fought his 
way to Earl Sigurd in the enemy's 
centre, and slew the man who bore 
the Earl's charmed banner ; another 
standard-bearer took his place, and he 
too was slain ; Sigurd called to others 
to take the banner, but all refused, 

fearing the prophecy, that whoever 
bore it should fall. Then Earl Sigurd 
tore the magic banner from the staff, 
and put it under his cloak. This broke 
the speU, and " the Earl was pierced 
through with a spear.'' Ospak, on the 
other wing of Brian's army, met with 
a stern resistance, and lost his two 
sons ; but at length Sitrygg fled be- 
fore him. Burnt Njal, ii., p. 334, sq. 

According to the Irish account, 
Sitrj-gg took no part in the battle, but 
remained to keep the fortress of Dublin. 
No mention is made of Ospak, and it 
is not easy to indentify either Ulf 
Hroda, or Kerthialfad, with any of 
the chieftains on Brian's side, known 
in Irish history. The Njal Saga says 
that Ulf Hroda was Brian's brother, 
and that Kerthialfad was Brian's foster 
child: — "He was the son of King Kylfi, 
who had many wars with King Brian, 
and fled away out of the land before 
him, and became a hermit; but when 
King Brian went south on a pil- 
grimage, then he met King Kylfi, 
and then they were atoned, and King 
Brian took his son Kerthialfad to him, 
and loved him more than his o-mi son. 
He was then full grown when these 
things happened, and was the boldest 
of all men." Burnt Njal, ii., p. 823. 
It has been suggested that King Kylfi 
may have been the O'Kelly who led 
the forces of Hy Many in Brian's 
army; but the Irish records contain 
nothing to support this conjecture. 

2 Clann Luighdech. Race of Lugh- 
aidh Menn, King of Thomond ; a 
branch of the Dal Cais. See Geneal. 
Table III., No. 6, p. 247. 



panegyric is pronounced (p. 107). In the inferior com- 
mands of this battalion, were Torrdelbhach, son of Mur- 
chadh (who was at this time but fifteen jears of age), and 
several other chieftains;^ with "the men of bravery and 
valour of the Dal-Cais." 

A second battalion, formed of the troops of Munster, 
was stationed in the rear of the Dal-Cais, under the com- 
mand of Mothla, son of Domhnall, son of Faelan,'^ King 
of the Deise, or Decies, of the county of Waterford, with 
Magnus, son of Anmchadh, King of Ui Liathain.^ 

A third battalion was composed of the men of Con- 
naught (ch. xcvi, p. 169), under the command of Mael- 
ruanaidh'' Ua-h-Eidhin, and other inferior chieftains,^ 
"with the nobles of all Connaught." 

1 Chieftains. Those named are — 
1. Conaing, son of Brian's brother, 
Donncuan, lord of Orraond (slain 9-18, 
Four M.) Conaing is styled " one of 
the three men most valued hy Brian 
that were then in Ireland," the other 
two being apparently Murchadh and 
Torrdelbacli. 2. Niall Ui Cuinn or 
O'Quin. Aongus Cennatinn (son of 
Cas Mac Tail), was ancestor of the 
Ui Cuinn or O'Quin of the Muinntir 
Iffernain, originally seated at Inehi- 
quin and Corofin (Coradh-Fine), in 
Thomond, the present county of Clare. 
— SeeTopogr. Poems, p. Ixxix, (711); 
Four ]\L, p. 774, n. ". 3. Eochaidh, 
son of Dunadach, chief of the Clann- 
Scannlain {Four J/.) in Ui Fidhgente 
(county of Limerick). 4. Cuduiligh, 
sonof Cennetigh, (probably Cennetigh 
son of Brian's brother Donncuan). 
These three are said to have been 
"the three life guards" or "rear 
guards," of Brian. 5. Domhnall, son 
of Diarmaid, King of Corcabhaiscinn, 
in the county of Clare, ancestor of the 
Muinntir Dorahnaill or O'Donnells of 
Clare. (jO' Huidhrin, Topogr. Poems, 


2 Faelan. This Faelan was son of 
Cormac, and died 964. The family 
of O'Faelain, descended from him, are 
now Phelan, and some of them Whelan. 

^ Ui Liathain. Now the barony of 
Barry more, county of Cork. 

* Mnehnmnaidh, pronounced IMul- 
rooney. This chieftain was the first who 
could liave borne the patronymic of Ua 
h-Eidhin (nowO'Heyne), as he was the 
son of Flann, and grandson of Eidhin, 
from Avhom came the tribe name. His 
father's sister, M6r, was Brian's first 
wife. He is called by the Four M. , 
Maelruanaidh na Paidre, "Mulrooney 
of the Pater noster," from which we 
may infer that he had a character for 
piety. See his genealogy in Dr. 
O'Donovan's Tribes and Customs of 
lly FiacJirack, p. 398. He was at 
this time chieftain of the Hy-Fiach- 
rach Aidiine, in the S. of the county 
of Galway. 

5 CJtieftains. These were — 1. Tadhg 
Ua Cellaigh or O'Kelly, " King" of Hy 
Many. (See O'Donovan, Tribes, ijr., of 
Hy Many, p. 99, Four J/., 1013, n., 
p. 774.) 2. Maelruanaidh, son of 
Muirghius, " King " of the Muinuter 



The two paragraphs which follow in chap. xcvi. are not interpoia- 
found in the O'Clery MS. The first contains a statement D^biinVis^ 
that Brian's ten stewards (Mor-maer) were drawn up with 
the foreign auxiliaries (probably the Danes of Munster) on 
one side of the army, and that Fergal O'Ruairc, wdth the Ui 
Briuin/ and the Conmaicne^ were ordered to the left wino- 
of the army. The other informs us that Malachy, Kino- 
of Tara, with the men of Meath, refused to take the 
station assigned him in consequence of his traitorous 
understanding wáth the enemy. We have already seen 
that there is good reason to suspect the truth of these 
statements about the treachery of Malachy and the pre- 
sence of Fergal O'Ruah-c in the battle. 

The Dal-Cais, it will be remembered, were placed in Position of 


Maelruanaidh. The title of king is not 
given to him in the MS. B, and he is not 
mentioned at all by the Four M. 3. 
cannon), chief of the Ui Diarmada or 
Corca-Mogha, whose territory is now 
the parish of Kilkerrin, barony of Tia- 
quin, CO. of Galway. He is omitted in 
B, and by the Four M. 4. Ualgarg 
Mac Cerin (which name would be now 
Ulrick Mac Kerrin), chieftain of the 
Ciarraidhe Locha-na-nairnedh, barony 
of Costello, county of Mayo. In the 
Annals of Loch Ce we read : " Bi-ian, 
however, had not assembled anj; army 
or multitude against this immense 
host of the western world and Gaill, 
except the men of Munster only, and 
Malachy with the men of Meath, for 
there came not to him the province of 
Uladh, nor the Airglalla, nor the 
Cinel-Eoghain, nor the Cinel Conaill, 
nor the Conachta (except the Hy 
Maine, and the Hy Fiachrach, and the 
Cinel Aedha). For there was not a 
good understanding then between 
Brian and Tadhg-an-eich-gill, son of 
Cathal, son of Conchobhar, King of 
Connaught ; so that on this account 

Tadhg refused to go vrith Brian to 
this battle of Cluain-Tarbh." Never- 
theless, according to our author (see 
chap. Ixxxviii., p. 155) Tadhg-an- 
eich-gill, King of Connaught, is men- 
tioned as one of those who sat in 
coimcil with Brian on the night before 
the battle. (See p. 1 55.) Vt'e do not, 
however, find any place assigned to 
King Tadhg among the chieftains in 
command of the battalion of Con- 
naught enumerated, chap xcvi., p. 169. 
Possibly the misunderstanding may 
have arisen at this very council, and 
Tadhg of the White Steed, with his fol- 
lowers, may have returned to his home 
in disgust, the night before the battle. 

1 //y Briidn. These were the de- 
scendants of Brian, son of Xial of the 
Nine Hostages ; they were called Hy 
BriuinBreifni,orHyBriuinof Breifné, 
to distinguish them from other tribes 
of the same name and descent. They 
were settled at this time in the coun- 
ties of Leitrim and Cavan. 

2 Coninaicne. These were the Con- 
maicne of Moy Rein, seated in the 
present county of Longford, and south 
of Leitrim. 



the van of the army, under the command of Murchadh, 
Brian's eldest son. Another account of Murchadh's position 
is given (ch. xcvii.) on the authority' of "some of the histo- 
rians of Munster," who said that his troops were "mixed 
with the battalion of Desmumha," or Desmond, together 
with his company or body-guard, composed of " seven 
score sons of kings,^ that were in attendance on him." 
The obscure story that follows is hardly worth notice ; it 
speaks of a rash attempt on the part of Murchadh, to 
attack the foreigners opposed to him, with the help of 
the troops of Desmond only. The story runs, that Brian, 
observing this movement, sent Domhnall, son of Emhin,^ 
to remonstrate against it, and a somewhat angry con- 
versation took place, which possibly may indicate the 
existence of jealousy* or disunion among the leaders of 
Brian's army. The result, however, was that "the nobles 
of all Desmond' were killed there, because they endea- 

1 Authority. The MS. B has merely 

"Others say that Murchadh was 

placed before the battalion of Des- 
mond," without mentioning historians, 
or Senchaidhe. 

2 Sons of Kings. These are called 
amrac, a word which has been trans- 
lated "volunteers" (p. 169). They 
are represented as having placed them- 
selves under Murchadh, as heir ap- 
parent of the throne, after [i.e., after 
the death of] Aedh O'NeiU. The word 
signifies soldieri/, from ama-p, a sol- 
dier, which, as Dr. O'Brien in his Irish 
Diet, suggests, was probably cognate 
■with nmbacttis; (SeeDuCange,in voc.) 

3 Domhnall, son of Emhin. He was 
Mor-maor, Thane, Steward, or Chief- 
tain of the Eoghanachts of Magh-Gerr- 
ginn, or Marr, in Scotland. He was 
descended from Maine Leamhna, son of 
Conall Core, of tlie race of OilioU 
Olum (see Geneal. Tables, IV., p. 248), 
who was also Brian's ancestor. See a 
curious account of this family from 

which the English royal family of 
Stewart or Stuart was descended, in 
O'Flaherty, Ogf/ff., p. 382, sg'. Maine 
Leamhna had that name from the 
river Leamhain, and his family were 
thence called Leamhnacha or Lennox. 
See note <>, p. clviii, supra. 

* Jealousy. See p. 171, note ^^. 

5 Of all Desmond. This must be 
taken with some qualification, for we 
shall see (chap, cxx., p. 213) that after 
the battle the surviving chieftains of 
Desmond were strong enough to revolt 
against the Dal-Cais, and threaten a 
battle, from which their own dissen- 
sions alone withheld them. Here they 
are represented as zealous followers of 
Murchadh. Chap, xcviii. has been 
omitted by O'Clery, and is an evident 
interpolation. It describes the arrival 
of Dunlang O'Hartigan, who accounts 
for his late coming by telling Mur- 
chadh of his having been enticed by 
fairies, with promises of life without 
death, &c. (see p. 173), and that al- 



voured to follow Murchadh to surround the foreigners 
and Danes." 

On the eve of the battle a challenge to single combat 
had passed between Plait, " son of the King of Lochlainn, 
brave champion of the foreigners/' and Domhnall, son of 
Emhin, Mor-maer Mair (high steward of Mar.) On the 
following morning, when the combat began (chap, c, p. 
175), Plait, who was one of the chosen men in armour, 
came forth between the hosts, calling aloud for Domhnall. 
Domhnall soon appeared; a terrible fight ensued; both 
fell dead at the same moment; "the sword of each through 
the heart of the other, and the hair of each in the clenched 
hand of the other." "And the combat of these two" (says 
our author) "was the first combat of the battle" (p. 177). 

The next chapter (ci.) is a palpable interpolation,' and 
has been omitted in O'Cleiy's MS. It was intended to 
celebrate the prowess of Fergal O'Ruairc, and the chief- 
tains of Breifné, in defence of Brian ; but we have seen 
that Fergal could not have been in this battle, and that 

Plait and 

The praise 
of Fergal 
an interpo- 

though he had learned from the fairies 
that it was fated for him to die on 
the same day with Murchadh, and 
that both he and his father Brian, 
and his son Turlogh, were destined that 
day to fall, nevertheless he (O'Har- 
tigan) was resolved to keep his word, 
and came to the battle and to certain 
death ; it was then arranged that 
O'Hartigan should undertake to com- 
bat Brodar the Viking, and Corna- 
bliteoc, and Maelmordha, and the 
Leinstermen. For further informa- 
tion on the Legend of Dunlang O'Har- 
tigan, see Mr. O'Kearney's Introd. to 
the Feis Tif/lie Chonain (Ossianic Soc), 
p. 98, sq. The curious accoimt of the 
battle of Clontarf, there quoted by 
Mr. O'Kearney, speaks of Dunlang 
O'Hartigan as being himself a fairy 
{sioguidhe). Ibid., \}. IQl. SeeO'Fla- 
herty, Ogyg., p. 200. 

1 Interpolation. This chapter gives 
an account of the supposed combat 
between Dunnall or Dunlang, son of 
Tuathal, King of Liphe', or Life', with 
1,000 followers, and Fergal O'Ruairc, 
or O'Rourke, Domhnall Mac Raghal- 
lach (or Reilly), and Gilla-na-naomh, 
son of Domhnall O'Ferghail, with the 
nobles of the Ui Briuin andConmaicne. 
The King of Liphe and his troops were 
on the side of the Danes, the other three 
heroes were on the side of Brian. Both 
parties suffered severely, only one hun- 
dred of the Ui Briuin and Conmaicne 
with their chieftam, survived the bat- 
tle, and Dunlang Mac Tuathail was 
beheaded by Mac an Trin, captain of 
Fergal O'Ruairc's household, who is 
not elsewhere mentioned. But this is 
all liction, and evidently a compara- 
tively modem addition to the original 



Conflict of 
the Dal- 

of the 

Combat of 
and Coraa- 

if he was, he would have been, iiKJst probably, on the other 

Then we have an extravagant and bombastic description 
of the conflict between the Dal-Cais and the Danes (chap. 
cii., p. 179), which contains no fact of interest, except that 
the battle was visible from the fortifications of Dublin, 
and was watched with interest from the battlements by 
the garrison and their women (p. 181). 

There follows a description of the same battle attributed 
to King Malachy (ch. ciii.), as it was seen by him from a 
distance. He is represented as having been requested by 
his tribe, the Clan Colmain, to give them an account of 
what he had seen. The narrative is of course highly 
favourable to the valour and prowess of the Dal-Cais, 
but is full of intolerable bombast, and was evidently in- 
tended to insinuate that both Malachy and his followers 
had kept themselves aloof from the battle,^ in consequence 
of their supposed treacherous understanding with the 

The combat of Dunlang O'Hartigan with Cornabliteoc 
is the next remarkable event recorded (chap, civ.) The 
foreign chieftain is represented as having led one hundred 
and fifty of his followers to attack Dunlang, who by his 
sinoie arm vanquished them all, at least, all of them, to 
use the language of the text (p. 185), " who waited to be 
wounded and beaten ;" in other words, all who did not 
run away. Cornabliteoc is said to have been transfixed 
by Dunlang's spear, the rough point of which " passed 
through him, both body and body armour," but it is not 
said that he was slain. All this, however, has been 
omitted in O'Clery's manuscript; and bears internal 
evidence of fiction, especially if it should turn out that 

1 Other side. See chap. Ixxxiv., 
p. 147, and p. clxiv., supra. 

2 Battle. This pretended narrative 
of the ex-king of Ireland, taken avow- 
edly from the present work, lias been 

adopted by Keating in his history. 
Tlie copy of it given in MS. D, ex- 
hibits some various readings, and will 
be found in Aiipendix C, with a trans- 



Cornabliteoc is not the name of a chieftain, but of a 
district of Cornwall. 

But both MSS. record the sincrle combat of Conainc;, Combat of 
Brian's nephew, who is here called King of Desmumha, and jii^i- 
or Desmond, with Maelmordha, King of Leinster (chap, mordha. 
cv., p. 185). After a great number of chieftains of in- 
ferior rank had fallen before they themselves met, they 
both (as our text says) " fell by each other."^ 

Then the foreigners of Ath-cliath, or Dublin, and the Conflict of 
men of Connaught attacked each other, with considerable Danes and 
loss on both sides. Of the Connaughtmen, one hundi-ed "i™ of 
only escaped ; of the Danes of Dublin, but twenty. The naught. 
Danes were pursued to Dubhgall's bridge,^ in Dublin, 
and were there cut to pieces. The last on the side of the 
Danes who was there slain was " Arnaill Scot;"^ he was 

1 Fell hy each other. The annals of 
Loch Ce tell us that Conaing was in 
the tent with Brian when the furious 
Brodar, flying from the battle, entered, 
and beheaded first Brian and then 

2 DuhhgalVs bridge. It is called " the 
bridge of Ath-cliath, i.e., DiibbgalTs 
bridge," in the MS. B (see p. 251). 
It was, therefore, at that time the only 
bridge across the river at Dublin, and 
was probably called Z)roc/íeaíZ'«i%ai7/, 
or Dubhgall's bridge, either (as some 
think) because it connected the Danish 
quarter, now Oxmantown, with their 
fortress and possessions south of the 
river, or more probably because it 
was built by some Dubhgall or Dane, 
whose name has not been preserved. 
The exact site of this bridge is un- 
certain. It may have crossed the 
river at the old ford, called Ath Cro, 
or bloody ford, or perhaps it occu- 
pied the site of what was long called 
the Old Bridge, at the end of the 
present Bridgefoot-street. This much, 
however, is certain, tliat the Irish name 
here given it favours tlie opinion that 

it was the bridge of some individual 
Dane, or person called Dubhgall, not 
" Bridge of the Danes," which would 
be Droicheat na nDubhgall, as Mr. 
Gilbert has well observed. — Eistory 
of Dublin, i., p. 320. In later times, 
however, this bridge was certainlv 
called pons Ostmannorum, which was, 
no doubt, intended as a translation of 
DubhgaU's bridge. See the valuable 
pa])er by Chas. Haliday, esq., " On the 
ancient name of Dublin," p. 446. 
Transact. Royal Irish Acad., vol. xxii., 
part ii. Dubhgall is the source of the 
family names still common — Dowell, 
MacDowell, MacDougall, Doyle, Du- 
gald, &c. There was a Dubhgall, 
grandson of Sitric, King of Dublin ; 
see pp. 165, 207, and p. clxxxv., 
note ~. 

3 Arnaill Scot. This curious par- 
ticular is here mentioned in tlie Dublin 
MS. only, but his death is recorded 
in B, under the name of Ernal Scot, 
ch. cxvii., p. 207. Nothing is known 
of hin), unless he was the same as 
Arnljot, Earl Sigurd's Scottish steward. 
Burnt yjal, ii., p. 13. 



on Mur- 

kiUed by " the household troops" of Tadhg Ua Cellaigh, 
or O'Kelly, King of Hy Many. 

There follows (chap, cvi., p. 187) a very inflated 
panegyric upon Murchadh, Brian's eldest son, who is de- 
scribed as wielding at the same time two swords, one in 
his right, and the other in his left hand. He is com- 
pared to Hector, son of Priam, to Samson in Jewish 
history, and to Hercules, as well as to Lugh or Lughaidh 
Lamhfada,^ [i.e., Lugh of the Long hand], King of the 
Tuatha de Danann, a famous hero in Irish legends 
Nevertheless the great degeneracy of the human race since 
Hector's time is fully admitted,^ and accounted for by 
the consideration that the world was in its infancy, unlit 
for action, before Hector, and was " a palsied drivelling 
dotard" after Murchadh ; therefore there could be no 
illustrious championship before Hector, nor ever shall be 
after Murchadh. 

1 Lugh or Lughaidh Lamhfada. He 
flourished, according to O'FIaherty's 
chronology, A.M. 2764, Ogyg., iii., c. 
13, p. 177. His valour and exploits 
are a favourite subject with the Irish 

2 Admitted. A curious scale or mea- 
sure of this degeneracy is given on the 
authority of the " Sencliaidhi," or Bislo- 
rians, of the Guedhil, p. 187. Hector was 
a match for seven like LughLamfhada, 
•who was equal to seven like Conall Cer- 
nach, who was equal to seven like Lugh 
Lagha, who was equal to seven like 
Mac Saiuhain, who was equal to seven 
like Murcliadh ; so that Hector was a 
match for 16,807 such heroes as Mur- 
cliadh with all his valour. Conall 
Cernach was chieftain of the heroes of 
the Ked Branch, and is fabled to have 
lieen present in Jerusalem at our 
Lord's crucifixion. See his pedigree, 
Buttle of Magh Rath, note <=, p. 328 ; 
O'Flaherty, Ogyg., iii., c. 48, p. 283. 
Lugh or Lughaidh Lagha, brother of 
Oilioll Olura, King of Munster in the 

third century, is much celebrated in 
Irish romantic history for his valour. 
Mac Samhain was a famous Fenian 
champion, in the service of Finn Mac 
Cumhaill, the Fingal of Macpherson. 
It may be here mentioned that the 
ancient order of Fenians were a body 
of militia, whose object was the sup- 
port of the monarchy and the main- 
tenance of law and order. See a 
full accoimt of them in Keating 
(Reign of Cormac Ulfada), O^Mahomjs 
Transl., p. 343. Their history is 
largely interpolated with fiction and 
the marvellous. There is a copious 
literature in the Irish language, con- 
sisting principally of romantic tales, 
recording the deeds of Fenian heroes, 
some of which have been published by 
the Ossianic Society of Dublin. See 
Trans, of that Society for 1855, con- 
taining " the Pursuit of Diarmaid 
and Graine," with Mr. Standish H. 
O'Grady's introduction, where a valu- 
able account of the extant Fenian lite- 
rature is given. 



Tlie narrative now describes the exploits of this great His 
chieftain (chap, cvii.) Miu'chaclh perceived that the mail- ^^^ '^^ttie^ 
clad phalanx of the foreigners was gaining upon the Dal- 
Cais. He was seized with a terrible fury ; " a bird of 
valour^ and championship arose within him, and fluttered 
over his head, and on his breath." He rushed upon the 
Danish battalion, and forced his way through them (p. 
189). It was admitted by his enemies^ that he cut down 
fifty men with each hand, and never repeated a blow ; a 
single cut from one of his swords sufficed to slay his ad- 
versary, — neither shield nor coat of mail was able to resist 
these blows, or protect the body, skull, or bones of the 
foe who received them. Thrice he passed thus through 
the thick of the Danes, followed by the Clann Luighdech, 
or sons of Lughaidh^ (i.e., the troops of Desmond), and the 
seven score sons of kings^ that were in his hovisehold. 

The battle, as seen from the walls of Dublin, was com- The battle 
pared^ to a party of reapers cutting a field of oats. It was ^he walls of 
observed by Sitric, son of Olaf Cuaran, from the battle- Dublin, 
ments, but he attributed the slavighter to the prowess of his 
allies. " Well do the foreigners reap the field," said he to 
his wife, who, it will be remembered, was Brian's daugh- 

1 A bird of valour. This seems like 
a description of the Scaiidina\aan 
Bersech: A parallel passage occurs 
in the Battle of Magh Rath, edited for 
the Irish Archfeol. Society by Dr. 
O'Donovan, Dublin, 1842, p. 33. 
Congal Claen, the hero of the tale, 
'■ stood up, assumed his braverj', his 
heroic fury rose, and his bird of valour 
fluttered over him, and he distinguished 
not friend from foe at that time, &c." 
See the account of the raven banner 
of Inguar and Ubba, quoted above, 
p. Ivi., n. 5. Earl Sigurd had also 
a raven banner in the battle of Clon- 
tarf, woven for him by his mother 
•with magical skill. Burnt Njal, vol. 
i., Tntrnd., p. cxc, note. 

* Enemies. Namely, " the historians 

of the foreigners and of the Laighin," 
or men of Leinster, as our author says 
(p. ] 89). He had a little before (p. 
187) spoken of "the historians of the 
Gaedhil." There were therefore al- 
readj^ historians of the battle on both 
sides. But we have seen that we 
cannot infer from this the lapse of anj' 
verj' great length of time since the 
battle. See above, p. ex., note ^. 

^ Lughaidk. See Geneal. Table IV., 
No. 5. 

* Sons of kings. See chap, xcvii., 
p. 1G9. 

5 Compared. This comparison is 
attributed to "the old men of Ath- 
cliath," in O'Clerj^'s MS. See Append. 
C, p. 255. 



Total rout 
of the 

Death of 


Sitric and 
his wife. 

ter; "many a slieaf do they cast from them." "The 
result Avill be seen/' said she, " at the end of the day." 

And so it proved. At the end of the day the Danes 
and their allies of Leiuster were routed with a terrible 
slaughter (chap, cviii.) They were unable to take shelter 
in Dublin, for their retreat was cut off' between the field 
of battle and Dubhgall's bridge, and they were forced 
into the sea. There they found that the receding tide^ 
had carried their ships out of their reach, and many 
perished by di-owning. 

But the loss was great on both sides. Torrdelbhach (or 
Turlough), Murchadh's young son, followed the enemy 
into the sea (chap, cix.) ; there a " rus'hing tide wave" 
struck him, and he fell with great force against the weir^ 
of Clontarf, where he perished along with two, or accord- 
ing to another reading, three, of the foreigners, whom he 
held in his grasp until they were drowned. 

The flight of the Danes to their ships was seen by 
Sitric and his wife from the battlements of Dublin, and 
another conversation between them is recorded. " It 
seems to me," said Brian's daughter, in bitter irony, " that 
the foreigners have gained their patrimony." " What 
meanest thou, woman ?" said her husband. " Are they 
not rushing into the sea," she repUed, " which is their 
natural inheritance ? I wonder are they in heat like 
cattle ; if so, they tarry not to be milked ?" Sitric, losing 
temper at this coarse insult, gave her a blow, which, says 
the O'Clery MS., knocked out one of her teeth (p. 193). 
Such (according to our author) was the refinement of 
Danish court manners at that time in Dublin. 

1 Cut off. Our author does not say 
how their retreat was cut off ; it is 
probable that ISIalachy and his Meath 
men were posted here, for it was here 
he met the remnant of the army of 
Leinster after the battle, and opposed 
their retreat, with great slaughter, 
from the river Tolka to Dublin. See 
Four M. 

^ Tide- See above, pp. xxvi., 

<* The weir. Hence this battle is 
commonly called Cath Coradh Cluana- 
tarbh, "The battle of the Weir of 
Clontarf." This ancient salmon weir 
is supposed to have been at the present 
Ballybough bridge, on the road from 
Dublin to Clontarf, 



Meanwhile Murchadh having passed through and i^rurchadh 
broken the ranks of the enemy, perceived Sigurd/ son of gfg'^rJ'"^ 
Hlodver, Earl of Orkney, in the midst of the Dal-Cais, 
dealing out wounds and slaughter on all sides ; " no edged 
weapon harmed him f there was no strength that yielded 
not, no thickness that became not thin" before him (p. 
195). Murchadh rushed upon him, and with a blow of 
his right hand sword, cut the fastenings of the earl's 
helmet, which fell back, and thus exposing his neck, 
Murchadh with his left hand sword dealt him a second 
well-aimed blow, and Sigurd fell dead upon the field. 

Next follows the account of a single combat (chap. Single 
cxii.) between Murchadli and the son of Ebric, or Elbric,^ between 
here called " son of the King of Lochlann," who had Munhadh^ 
rushed into the centre oi the i)al-Lais, makmg a breach, son. 
which was " opened for him wherever he went." Mur- 
chadh seeing this, turned upon the mail-clad battalion, 
and killino- hfteen on his right and fifteen on his left, cut 
his way to the son of Ellsric. A bombastic description of 
the fight then follows, in which we are told that Mur- 
chadh's sword having become red hot, the hilt or handle'* 
inlaid ^vith silver melted, and so wounded his hand that he 

1 Sigurd. His mother was Edna, 
daughter of Cearbhall, or Carroll, son 
of Dungal, lord of Ossorj', and king 
of Dublin. Scriptt. Hist. Island, iii. 
Tab. 1. He had been a Christian, for 
Olaf Tryggveson " allowed him to 
ransom his life by letting himself be 
baptized, adopting the true faith, be- 
coming his man, and introducing 
Christianity into the Orkney islands." 
After Olaf's death, however, Sigurd 
abandoned his fealty, and, probably, 
also his Christianity. Laing, Kings of 
Norway, ii., p. 131. 

~ Harmed him. The text attributes 
this invulnerability to Murchadh ; but 
it ought rather be understood as be- 
longing to Sigurd, as in O'Clery's 
MS. See App. C, p. 258. It is a 
manifest allusion to the effect of 

Sigurd's charmed banner, as described 
in the Njal-Saga. 

^ Elhric. See note 3, p. 195, where 
it is suggested that this hero's name 
may have been Anroid. It is so under- 
stood by the compilers of the Dublin 
Annals of Inisfallen. Ebric or El- 
bric is probably intended for the Scan- 
dinavian name Eric. In B, it is 
written Elbric and Ebric. 

^ Handle. This improbable story 
is thus amplified by one of the latest 
historians of Ireland : "Sometimes as 
their right hands swelled with the 
sword-hilts, well known warriors might 
be seen falling back to bathe them in a 
neighboiaring spring, and then rushing 
again into the melee." Popular Hist, 
of Ireland, by Thos. D'A. M'Gee (New 
York, 186-1), vol. i., p. 99. 




in his tent. 

was forced to cast the sword away ; then seizing the for- 
eigner by the helmet, he drew his coat of chain armonr 
off him, and dragged him to the ground. Murchadh being 
uppermost possessed himself of the foreign chieftain's 
sword, and stabbed him through the bi'east three times ; but 
notwithstanding this, the son of Elbric had time to draw 
his knife, with which he gave Murchadh a deadly wound, 
so that " the whole of his entrails were cut out, and fell 
to the ground before him." The Irish hero, however, had 
strength enough left to cut off his enemy's head ; nor did 
he die until sunrise the following morning, when he re- 
ceived " absolution, and communion, and penance," and 
lived " until he had received the Body of Christ, and had 
made his will" (p. 197). 

Meanwhile Brian, who had not himself entered the 
battle as a combatant,^ was engaged in prayer^ and de- 
votional exercises, at some distance from the contending 
armies. He had recited fifty psalms, fifty prayers, or 
collects, and fifty pater-nosters, when he desired his 
attendant, Latean, or Laidin,^ to look out and tell him the 

1 Combatant. The Dublin Annals 
of Inisfallen represent Brian as having 
commenced the battle in person, after 
having gone through the army, 
crucifix in hand, exhorting his men, 
and setting before them the great in- 
terests that were at stake. This 
chronicle, however, is of no authority. 
It was compiled (from ancient sources, 
no doubt), by John Conry and Dr. 
0'Brien,titularbishopof Cloyne, and its 
compilers were eminent Irish scholars. 
Its value is diminished by the fact 
that they both belonged to a school 
which frequently permitted themselves 
to be carried away from their author- 
ities by zeal for some favourite hypo- 
thesis. Nevertheless these Annals are 
valuable as showing the interpretation 
put upon difficult passages of the 
authentic chronicles by such eminent 
Irish scholars as Conry and O'Brien. 

* Prayer. This agrees with what 
is said in the Njal-Saga, that " Brian 
would not fight on a fast day, and so 
a shield-burg [i.e., a ring of men hold- 
ing' their shields locked together] was 
thrown round him, and his host was 
drawn away in front of it." Burnt 
Njal, ii., p. 334. When the route 
began, some of these men were tempted 
to join in the pursuit ; the shield-burg 
was weakened ; Brodir perceivuig this, 
easily broke through and slew the 
king. Tbid, p. 337- 

3 Latean, or Laidin. The O'Clery 
MS. B, calls him Brian's horse-hoy, 
(5ill.a a éic pein). The family is now 
dispersed, and have generally taken 
the name of Ladden. But the allu- 
sion to the family in the text is an 
evident interpolation. See above, pp. 
xxiv., XXV. The Njal-Saga makes 
no mention of Latean, but tells us 



general appearance of the battle, and especially the 
position of Murchadh's standard. Latean reported that Reports 
the strife was close and vigorous, with a confused noise, ™j^ ^f^^jj^g 
as if seven battalions were cutting down Tomar's wood,^ battle. 
but that Murchadh's standard was floating aloft, and many 
of the banners of the Dal-Cais around it, and many heads 
fallino' wherever it went. 

Then Brian said fifty more psalms, and made the same 
inquiries. This time the answer was that all was con- 
fusion ; multitudes on both sides had fallen ; no man 
could tell on which side the advantage lay ; all were so 
besmeared with blood and dust that no father coiúd know 
his own son. But Murchadh's standard still stood and 
moved tln-ough the battalions westward, that is to say, 
towards Dublin. " As long as that standard remains 
erect," said Brian, " it shall go well with the men of 

When he had repeated the last fifty psalms of the Murchadh's 
psalter, and said his fifty collects and his fifty pater- 
nosters, he asked the attendant to look out once more. 
Latean replied, " They appear as if Tomar's wood was on 


that "the lad Takt" [i.e., Tadhg, 
Brian's son] Tras with him when 
Brodir rushed upon the aged kmg. 
Takt threw up his arm to defend 
his father, and the stroke of Brodir's 
sword or battle-axe cut off Takt's 
arm and the king's head; "but the 
king's blood" (adds the Saga) " came 
on the lad's stump, and the stump was 
healed by it on the spot.'' Burnt 
Njal, ii., p. 337. The Annals of Loch 
Ce tell us that Conaing, Brian's 
nephew, was with him in the tent, and 
was beheaded along with him. This 
is evidence that the name of Latean 
was not in the original narrative. 
Neither the Four M. nor the Ann. 
of Ulster mention the tent or the 

particulars here given of Brian's 

1 Tomar's Wood. This was a wood 
which seems to have extended from 
the plain of Clontarf along the north 
side of the river Liffey to near Dublin. 
AATiether it extended to the south side 
of the river at this time is imcertain. 
But anciently the round hill, or Drom, 
on which the Castle of Dublin and 
Christ Church Cathedral are built, 
was called Drom-choll-coill, " HiU of 
the hazel wood ;" and recent excava- 
tions in the streets of the neighbour- 
hood have shown undoubted evidence 
of the existence of an ancient hazel 
wood on the hiU. See Haliday, On 
the Ancient Name of Dublin, p. 441. 
71 2 




refuses to 


fire, its underwood^ and brushwood destroyed, and its 
stately trees only remaining. So in the contending armies 
the private soldiers are cut down ; a few of the chieftains 
and gallant heroes only are left ; Murchadh's standard 
has fallen." " Alas !" said Brian, " Eriim has now fallen 
with it ; why should I wish to survive such losses, even 
though I should obtain the sovereignty of the world ?" The 
attendant now recommended an immediate flight to the 
security of the camp; but Brian refused to move. "Re- 
treat," he said, "becomes us not. And wherever I go, I 
know that I shall not escape death, for Aibhill, of Craig 
Liatli,^ appeared to me last night, and revealed to me that 
I should be killed this day, and that the first of my sons^ 
I should see this day (and that was Donnchadh) should 
His Rifts to succeed me in the sovereignty." Then Brian gave direc- 
the clergy, tions about his will and his funeral ; he left 240 cows to 
the successor of Patrick, or abbot of Armagh ; to his own 
cathedral of Killaloe, and the other churches of Munster, 
their "proper dues," adding, Donnchadh knows that I 
have not wealth of gold or silver, therefore let him pay 
them as an adequate return "for my blessing"* (meaning 

1 Its underwood. From this place 
(p. 199) to the end of the work the 
MS. D is defective, and the con- 
clusion of the narrative is supplied 
from O'Clery's copy B. 

" A ibliill of Craig Liath, more cor- 
rectly Aibinn. This was the banshee 
\_ben-sidhe] or boding female spirit of 
the Dal-Cais, who appeared before the 
chieftain's death to warn him of his 
approaching fate. See above, p. cxi., 
note *. If Brian was not a believer in 
this superstition, the historian who 
has recorded the story certainly was. 

3 First of my sons. The annals of 
Loch Ce tell us that when Brian re- 
ceived the prediction he sent for Mur- 
chadh, his eldest son. Murchadh 
waited to put on his di"ess ; meantime 

Donnchadh, without waiting to dress, 
went at once to his father's cell, and 
thus the prophecy was fulfilled in him 
to Brian's great discontent, who re- 
ceived both his sons in wrath, and 
dismissed them his presence. The 
narrative in the text is evidently 
written or tampered with by a parti- 
zan of Donnchadh. This is at least 
evidence of its antiquity, for it was 
probably so interpolated when Donn- 
chadh's claim was doubtful, and cer- 
tainly before 1064, when Donnchadh 

* M>/ blessing. The original is mo 
bhennachttan ocus mo chomarbus — lit. 
"for my blessing and my succession," 
i.e., their blessing of me, and for 
Dannchadh"s succession to me. 



for their blessing upon me) "and for his own coming to the 
throne in succession to me." He even prescribed the route Directions 
to be observed by the procession in his funeral ; first to ^m°^j\j]'* 
Sord or Swords, near Dublin; then to Daimhliag of Ciaran, 
now Duleek, in the county of Meath; then to Lughmagh 
or Louth, where he requested the " successor of Patrick,"^ 
with the Society or Clergy of Armagh, to meet his remains.'* 

Latean, dui-ing this conversation, perceived a party of Brodar 
foreigners approaching. It proved to be Brodar, with two g^jan ." 
other warriors. Latean described them to his master as 
" blue stark-naked people." By this description the aged 
chieftain^ recognized them at once as the foreigners who 
were m coats of mail. He immediately stood up ft'om 
the cushion on which he had been praying, and un- 
sheathed his sword. Brodar would have passed him 
without notice had not one of his companions, who had 
once been in Brian's service, cried out that this was the 
king. "No," said Brodar, perceiving that Brian had 
been at prayer, "that is a priest." "Not so," said the 
other; "this is the ffreat King; Brian." Brodar then 
turned round, having " a bright gleaming battle-axe in 
his hand." Brian made a blow with his sword which 
"cut off" Brodar's left leg at the knee, and his right leg 
at the foot." The savage Viking, however, had time, 
before he fell, to cleave Brian's head with his axe, 

1 Patrick. The comharba or "suc- 
cessor of Patrick" at this time was 
Maelmuire, sonof Eochaidh, of the Race 
of Colla da Crioch, and of the tribe of 
Ua Sionaigh, from which were taken 
the bishop-abbots of Armagh for many 
generations in hereditary succession. 
He died on the Friday before Whitsun- 
Day, 3 June, 1020, and was succeeded 
by his son Amhalgaidh, 1020-1050, 
and then by another son Dubhdaleithe, 
1050-1065. This Amhalgaidh was 
the tirst prelate of Armagh who exer- 
cised jurisdiction over Munster, acting 

most probably on the authority of the 
entn,' made by Brian's chaplain in the 
Book of Armagh during Ms father's 

2 Remains. See pp. 202, 203. 

' Aged chieftain. According to 
the Four M., Brian was bom in 925, 
and was, therefore, at this time 89 
years of age. The Ulster annals fix 
the more probable date of 941 as the 
year of his birth, which would make 
him only 73 in 1014. See Dr. O'Dono- 
van'b note ^ Four M., p. 772. 







of the evils 





Return of 
with oxen. 

and Brian to cut down one of the companions^ of his 

Then follows (chap, cxv.) a panegyric upon Brian, in the 
style to which the reader of this work has, by this time, 
become accustomed. No such deed had been done in 
Ireland since the beheading of Cormac Mac Cuilennain.^ 
Brian was one of the thi-ee born in Ireland who had most 
successfidly promoted the prosperity^ of the country, for 
he had delivered Ireland from the bondage and iniquity 
of the foreigners, and had defeated them in twenty- 
seven battles. He is compared to Augustus, to Alexander 
the Great, to Solomon, to David, and to Moses (p. 205). 

Having cited some prophecies attributed to St. Berchan 
and to Bee Mac De, predicting evils that should follow 
on Brian's death, which (it need scarcely be said) are 
childish forgeries, our author proceeds to enumerate the 
principal chieftains slain on both sides, whose names* are 
giveii in detail. 

After the battle the Munster clans, having collected 

1 Companions. All this looks very 
like romance, and is far less probable 
than the account of Brian's death 
given in the Njal-Saga. There Brodir 
or Brodar is represented as knowing 
who Brian was, and where he was. 
He broke through the guards, and 
"hewed at the King.'' He then cried 
out aloud : — " Now let man tell man 
that Brodir felled Brian." Brodir was 
sun-ounded and taken alive ; but, what 
follows seems somewhat apocryphal, 
" Wolf the quarrelsome cut open liis 
belly and led him round and round the 
trunk of a tree, and so wound all his 
entrails out of him, and he did not die 
before they were aU drawn out of him. 
Brodir's men were all slain to a man." 
Burnt Njal, ii., 337. 

* Cormac mac Cuilennain. He was 
King of Munster and Bishop of Cashel. 
Slain 903. See the history of his reign 
|n Keating {O'Mahonys Transl, p. 

519), Moore's Hist, of Ireland, vol. ii., 
p. 45, sq. 

3 Prosperity. The other two were 
Lugh or Lugaidh Lamhfada, and Fmn 
Mac Cumhaill. The former of these 
heroes (see p. clxxxii.) lived before the 
Christian era, and was the reputed 
founder of the Tailten (or Telltown) 
games. The other was the original 
leader of the Fenian militia, the Fingal 
of Macphersou's Ossian, whose fol- 
lowers are there called Fingalians. 

* Whose names. See p. 207. On the 
side of the Danes therefell — 1. Brodar, 
son of Osli [Flosi ?] earl of Caer Ebroc 
or York, "■with a thousand plimdering 
Danars, both Saxons and Lochlanns." 
This is a curious example of the use 
of the terra Danars, to signify rob- 
bers, ruffians, or desperados. The 
thousand Norsemen of the coats of 
mail are evidently intended. 2. Si- 
triuc [read Sigiu'd], earl of the Innsi 



together their surviving chieftains and men, encamped on 
the Green of Dublin (p. 211), where they remained for 

Ore or Orkney Islands. 3. Of the 
foreigners of Dublin were slain 2,000, 
amongst whom are mentioned Dubh- 
gall, son of Amlaff, son of Sitric, King 
of Dublin ; Gillaciarain, son of Glun- 
iarann, son of Olaf Cuaran(see p. 165); 
Dunchadh Ua h-Erulf (grandson of 
Heriolfr, see note, p. clxxiv.) ; Amlaff 
the Lagman, sou of Godfrey (see p. 
165, and p. clxxiv., n. 3,), King of the 
Insi Gall, or Hebrides ; and Ernal Scot 
(see p. clxxxi., n. 3). 4. Of the other 
foreigners are mentioned Oitir the 
black, Grisin [? Grifin], Luimiuin, 
and Siogradh, four leaders of the 
foreigners and chieftains of ships. 5. 
Carlus and Ciarlus, two sous of the 
King of Lochlann. 6. Goistilin Gall, 
and Amund, son of Dubhginn [or 
Dubhcenn], two Kings of Port Lairge 
or Waterf ord. 7. Simond, son of Tur- 
geis. 8. Sefraid or Geoffrey, son of 
Suinin. 9. Bernard, son of Suaiuin. 
10. Eoin Barun (John the Baron?), 
and Ricard, the two sons of the Inghen 
Ruaidh [red maiden, see p. 41]. 11. 
OisLU and Raghnall, the two sons of 
Ivar O'lvar. These were evidently 
the Danes of Waterford; therefore 
our author adds, p. 207, that it was 
right they should fall with Brian, be- 
cause it was by Brian and his brother 
Mahoun the fathers of all these had 
been slain. 

Then follows a list of the Irish 
chieftains who fell on the Danish side. 
These were — 1. Maelmordha, King of 
Leinster. 2. Brogarbhan, son of Con- 
chobhair, King of Ui Failge or Offaly 
(see p. clxiii, n. i). 3. Domhnall, son 
of Fergal, King of Fortuatha Laighen. 
(See p. clxxv., n.). 4. Dunlang (son 
of Tuathal), King of Life or Liffey. 
See p. 35, and note ^, p. Ixxxix. 
With these fell 2,000 of the Leinster 
men, and 1,100 of the Ui Ceinnselaigh, 

the total loss of the enemy being 
66,000, which is no doubt exagger- 
ated. Brian lost his son Murchadh 
and his grandson Torrdelbach, with 
Conaing, his nephew, son of his 
brother Donncuan. Next to these are 
enumerated Eochaidh, son of Dunadh- 
ach, chief of the O'Scanlainn; Cu- 
duiligh, son of Cemieidigh or Kennedy; 
and Niall O'Quin, the three "rear 
guards" or body guards of Brian (see 
p. clxxvl., n. 1). Domhnall, son of 
Diarmaid, King of Corcabhaiscinn 
(Ibid, and Four M., p. 775, n. ») ; 
Mothla, son of Faelan or Phelan, 
King of theDeisi (Ibid, and FourM., 
p. 773, n. '), with Magnus, son of Anm- 
chadh. King of the Ui Liathain (see 
p. clxxvi., n. s) ; Gebennach, son of 
Dubhagan, King of Fera-Muighe 
[Fermoy], (Four 3L, p. 774, w. »); 
Dubhdabhoirenn, son of Domhnall, 
(i.e., of the Domhnall mentioned, p. 
213) ; and Loingsech, son of Dunlang 
(i.e., of Dimlang, k. of Leinster, No. 
4, supra.) ; Scannlan, son of Cathal, 
King of the Eoghanacht Locha Lein 
(or Killarney), Fou7- M., p. 775, n. "•; 
Baedan, son of Muirchertach, King of 
CiarriagheLuachra (the co. of Kerry). 
The Four M. and Ann. Ult. call this 
chieitain 3 fac Beatha, son of Muireadh- 
ach Claen, whom Dr. O'Donovan iden- 
tifies with the ancestor of the O'Connor 
Kerry. Four M., p. 774, n. P. The 
Ann. of Loch Cé have copied verbatim 
the list of the Ann. Ult. Maelruanaidh 
Ua hEidhin (or O'Heyne), King of 
Aidne (see p. clxxvi., n. *). Four 3f., 
p. 775, n. <•. Tadhg Ua Cellaigh 
[O'Kelly], K. of Hy Many (p. clxxvi., 
n. s, Four 31., p. 774, n. '^), and 
Domhnall, son of Eimhin (son of 
Caiimeach, Mormaor or Steward of 
Mar in Scotland, Four 3f.) See p. 
clxxviii., n. 2, and Four 3f., p. 775, n. *", 



the next two days^ awaiting tlie return of Donnchadh, 
son of Brian, who, it will be remembered, had been sent 
to plunder Leinster (see p. 135). He returned "at the 
hour of vespers on Easter Sunday," with eight and 
twenty oxen, which were immediately slaughtered on the 
Green of Dublin. Hearing this, Sitric, King of Dublin, 
sent a message to Donnchadh, demanding a share in the 
oxen, and threatening, unless his demand was complied 
with, to attack the shattered troops of the Dal-Cais with 
his fresh soldiers from the garrison of Dublin. Donnchadh, 
however, sent back a haughty refusal, and Sitric, we are 
told, "declined the battle, for fear of Donnchadh and of 
the Dal-Cais" (p. 211). 
Care of the The next day (Easter Monday) was spent in visiting 
wo^unded. ^^^® ^^^^ *^^ battle, for the purpose of burying the dead 
(p. 211) and succouring the wounded. The bodies of 
thirty chieftains were sent oif to their territorial churches 
to be interred in their fiimily burial grounds ; and those 
who were still living, among the wounded, were carried 
on biers and litters to the camp. 
Dissension C)n this very night, however, dissension broke out 
among the among the surviving leaders of Brian's army. Observing 
Brian's the broken condition of the Dal-Cais, the chieftains of 
army. Dcsmond resolved to put forward their claim to the sove- 
reignty of Munster, on the ground of the alternate right 
founded on the will of Oilioll Olum. Cian, son of the 
Maelmuaidh or Molloy, who had taken so active a part in 
the murder of Brian's brother Mahoun (see p. 85, sq.), 
resolved to contest the matter before the Dal-Cais had 
reached their home, or had had time to repau- their losses. 
They had marched with the Dal-Cais, although in 
separate camps, as far as Rath Maisten -^ there the two 
tribes separated, and Cian sent messengers, to Donn- 

1 Ttco days. Our author notes (p. 
21 1) that Brian's funeral, with that of 
his son Murcliadli, was celebrated in 
the manner he had directed, and that 
Donnchadh paid in full all bequests, 

as his father had willed. 

" Rath 3iaisten. Masten's fort. Now 
Mullagh-Mast, or Mullaniast, au 
earthen fort, about six miles east of 
Athy, CO. of Kildare. 



chadh, to demand hostages, in other words, to claim 
the sovereignty of Munster. The men of Desmond he 
said, haxdng submitted to Brian, and to Brian's brother, 
Mathgamliain, it was now the turn of their chieftain to 
be received as sovereign. Donnchadh replied that they 
had submitted to his uncle and to his father from neces- 
sity, not in recognition of any alternate right to the 
throne. Brian had wrested Munster from the foreigners 
at a time when the chieftains of Desmond had tamely sub- 
mitted to their tp-anny. Donnchadli therefore refused 
to give hostages in recognition of Cian's claim, and an- 
nounced his intention of holding the sovereignty by the 
same force of arms which had given it to his father. 

When this answer was received, Cian and his followers cian 
at once advanced under arms to gjve battle to the Dal- prepares for 

. battle. 

Cais. Domichadli ordered the sick and wounded to be 
put into the fort of Rath Maisten for protection ; but the 
sick and wounded refused. They " stuffed their wounds 
with moss," took up theil' arms, and insisted upon being 
led into battle. This example of detennination alanned 
the troops of Desmond, and " they hesitated to give 
battle" (p. 215). But this was not all. Domhnall, son of 
Dubhdabhoirenn, was now chieftain of the Ui nEochach 
of Munster,^ and joint leader with Cian, of the army of 
Desmond. A dispute arose between them. Domhnall's His feud 
father, Dubhdabhoirenn (or Duvdavoren) had been Kintr '"'^^^ 

. . " Donnell 

of Munster. He therefore claimed his share of the terri- Mac 
tory which Cian proposed to wrest from the son of Brian, ^"'^^^^o- 
Tliis was sternly refused, and Domhnall separated his 
troops from those of Cian, refused^ to fight against the 

1 Mimster. See above, p. Ix., n. ^. 
The Ui Eochach or Ui nEochdach were 
the descendants of Eochadh, son of 
Cas. See the descent of Domhnall, s. 
of Dubhdabhoirenn; Geneal. TablelY., 
p. 248. Donnchadh, s. of this Domh- 
nall, was ancestor of the Ui Donn- 
chadha, or O'Donoghue of Slunster. 

2 Refused. Domhnall demanded 
that Munster should be equally divided 
between hiraseK and Cian. This being 
declined, he refused to support Cian's 
claim. His words, as given by our 
author, were : — " I shall not go with 
thee against the Dal- Cais, because I 
am not better pleased to be under thee 



made by 
Ossorv and 

Dal-Cais in Cian's quarrel, and from this time " they met 
not" (says our author) "in one camp till they reached 
their homes." Before the end of the year, as we learn 
from the Annals of Ulster,* the feud had reached its 
climax. The two chieftains fought a battle, with great 
slaughter, in whicli Cian, with his brothers Cathal and 
Ragallach, was slain. The following year^ Domhnall, son 
of Dubhdabhoirenn, was himself slain in a battle at 
Limerick, by Donnchadh and Tadhg, the sons of Brian. 

The wounded Dalcassians were greatly exhausted after 
their recent excitement in the prospect of a bloody light ; 

the men of but at Ath-I,^ on the Bearbha (now the Barrow) they 
Leix. washed their wounds in the river, and were refreshed 

(p. 215). They had still, however, to cross the hostile 
territory of Ossory in order to reach their homes. There 
Donnchadh, son of Gillapatrick, King of Ossory, with his 
allies the Laighsi,"* were up in arms, and encamped in 
battle array on the plain called Magh Chloinne Ceallaigh^ 
to oppose the progress of the Dal-Cais. Besides the here- 
ditary enmity of the two clans, Donnchadh had a private 

than under the son of Brian, unless 
for the profit of land and territory for 
myself " (p. 21 5). Nevertheless, Mr. 
Moore represents him as " calmly ex- 
postulating with his brother chieftain, 
and succeeding in withdrawing both 
him and the whole of their force 
quietly from the camp ;" ii., 118. The 
Dublin Ann. of Inisfallen, which Mr. 
Moore continually quotes as if they 
were an ancient authority, woixld have 
corrected this error. Donnell Mac 
Duvdavoren had no nobler motive 
than the aggrandizement of his clan 
and the increase of his own territory. 
^ Ulster. Ann. Ult., 1014. The 
Four IMast. have misplaced the entry 
of this event at the beginning instead 
of at the end of the year, so that a 
reader might inadvertently suppose 
that Cian had been slain before the 
battle of Clontarf. 

2 Following year. Four M., 1014 
(=1015), p. 783. Ann. Ult., 1015. 

8 Ath-I. Properly Baile-atha-ai, 
" Town of the ford of the district," 
now Athy, a considerable town on the 
river Barrow, S. of the co. of Kildare. 
Ai is a region, district, patrimony. 

* Laighsi. The inhabitants of Leix, 
a district in the Queen's county. This 
tribe was descended from Laeigsech 
Ceann mór, son of Conall Cernach, a 
celebrated hero, who flourished in the 
first century. See Book of Rights, p. 
214, n. 0' Flaherty, Ogyg., iii., cap. 51, 
p. 293. 

5 Magh Chloinne Ceallaigh. "Plain 
of the children of Ceallach," or Kelly: 
called also Magh Dructaiu, a district 
inhabited b_y a branch of the O'Kelly's, 
in the terrritory of Leix. See Four 
M., A.D. 1394, note «. Topogr. Poems, 
p. Iii. (426). 



feud with the sons of Brian, because his father, Gilla- 
patrick, who had sided with the murderers of their uncle, 
Mathgamhain, had been taken prisoner^ by Brian, and 
kept in fetters for a year (p. 217). Knowing this, the 
son of Brian had his shattered forces drawn up " in 
martial array" at Athy, expecting opposition ; and when 
the King of Ossory sent ambassadors to demand hos- 
tages, in other words, to lay claim to the sovereignty 
of Munster, the answer given was that whatever pre- 
tence the chieftains of Desmond may have had, seeing 
they were of the Eoghanachts, descendants of Oilioll 
Olum, and directly concerned in the rule of alternate 
sovereignty, the son of Gillapatrick, of Ossory, had none ; 
for he was of a different race,^ and had no natural right 
to the throne of Munster. 

The wounded men hearing this, again insisted on being Heroic 
led to the battle with the rest of the army ; they caused ^Jj" jj^icas- 
themselves to be supported by stakes driven into the sian 
ground, against which they could lean their backs, and 
in this condition they prepared for action.^ The men of 

1 Prisoner. See chap. Ixvi., p. 107. 
Gillapatrick, father of this Doun- 
chadh, was son of another Donnchadh, 
son of Ceallach, son of CearbhaU, or 
CarroU, the great ally of the Danes, 
and himself Danish King of Dublin. 
See Tribes and Territories of Ossory^ 
by Dr. O'Donovan (reprinted from 
Transact. Kilkenny ArchcEol. Soc. for 
1850) ; DuUin, 1851, p. 12. 

* A different race. He was of the 
race of Heremon of Leinster, -whereas 
the Dal-Cais were of the race of Heber. 
See ff Flaherty, Ogyg., p. 118 ; O'Dono- 
van, Tribes of Ossory, p. 11. 

3 For action. This entliusiastic con- 
duct of the wounded is made the sub- 
ject of Moore's well-known words : — 

" Forget not our wounded companions 
who stood 
In the day of distress by our side, 

While the moss of the valley grew 
red with their blood, 
They stirred not, but conquer'd 
and died. 
The sun, that now blesses our arms 
with his light, 
Saw them fall upon Ossory's 
plain : — 
Oh ! let him not blush, when he 
leaves us to-night, 
To find that they fell there in 

Here the poet assumes that the heroes 
whose valour he celebrates fell in 
battle in a national cause; but the 
original story, as recorded in the pre- 
sent work, is that their enthusiasm 
was called forth, not in the cause of 
their countrj', but in the cause of their 
clan. "Country" was at that time 
in Ireland au unknown sentiment ; and 



ness of the 
due to 

Ossoiy, however, intimidated by this wonderful energy 
of the Dal-Cais, declined the contest, and the wounded 
men, when the danger was past, relapsed into intense 
weakness. One hundred and fifty of them fainted away, 
and expired. They were buried on the spot, with the 
exception of the more noble among them, who were 
carried to their native places, to be interred with their 
ancestors in their family burial-grounds. 

" And thus far^ the war of the Gaill with the Gaedhil, 
and the battle of Clontarf" 

Upon the death of Brian, as we have seen,the troops under 
his command dispersed, each clan to its own proper ter- 
ritory, leaving Malachy to his own resources. His energy 
in the emergency refutes triumphantly the base calumny^ 
that he was secretly in the interest or pay of the enemy. 
To him, in fact, if we may credit the Four Masters, was 
due the completeness of the victory. The remains of the 
enemy's army, and particularly of the men of Leinster, 
who had lost their sovereign, were met by him, on the 
evening of the battle, in their flight to Dublin. " He 
routed them," say the annalists, " by dint of battling, 
bravery, and striking, from the Tulcain'^ to Dublin." The 
next year, 10] 5, Malachy, with his allies of the Northern 
O'Neill, led an army to Dublin itself against the Danish 
garrison. They " burned the fortress, and all the houses 
outside the fortress." They afterwards invaded the ter- 
ritory of Ui Cennselagh (county of Wexford), plundered 
the whole country, " carrying off many thousand captives 

even the author of these romantic fic- 
tions about the heroic wounded of the 
Dal-Cais could conceive nothing more 
glorious than that they should display 
their heroism in the cause of their 

1 Thus far. This is the well known 
form in which an Irish historical tale 
generally ends. 

* Calumny. See Mr. Moore's Ilist. 

of Ireland, chap. 22, vol. ii., p. 137, 
sg., where this calumny is conclusively 
refuted. See also p. clxxi., n i. 

8 Ttilcain. Four M., 1013, p. 777. 
Now the Tolka. A small river run- 
ning through the village of Finglas, 
near Duljlin. These facts are sup- 
pressed by all the Munster his- 
torians, as well as by our author. 



and cattle,"^ and thus effectually weakened the power of 
the Dublin Danes and their allies of Leinster. 

The immediate result^ of the battle of Clontarf and the Jiaiachy 
death of Brian was to replace Malachy upon his former j^g throne, 
throne. His right was tacitly recognised ; he seems to 
have resumed the government as a matter of coui'se,^ as if 
his administration had never been interrupted ; and it is 
remarkable that the annalist, Tighernach, who wrote 
within the same century, in recording his death and the 
length of his reign, ignores altogether the twelve years of 
Brian's usurpation, including them in the total which he 
assigns to the reign of Malachy. jS^othing, as Mr. Moore 
has remarked, can more clearly show " the feeling enter- 
tained on the subject in times bordering on those of 

But although the name of king was thus tamely Constitu- 
yielded to its rightful owner, the consequences of Brian's changes 
revolution were severely felt. The old constitutional iTile resulting 
under which the Ard-righ, or chief King of Ireland, had Brian's 
been elected exclusively from the descendants of Niall of revolution, 
the nine hostages, was no longer acquiesced in, although it 

1 Cattle. Four M., IQU, p. 783 ; 
and Ann. of Clonmacnoise, quoted \>j 
Dr. O'Donovan, ibid. 

^ Result. It would be out of place 
here to attempt any lengthened ac- 
count of the consequences, immediate 
or remote, of the battle of Clontarf. 
A good summary of them, and of the 
whole of this melancholy period of 
Irish historj', wUl be found in a work 
already referred to, M'Gee's Popular 
History of Ireland — (^Ntw Yorh), 
186i. (Vol. ii., p. 101, sq.) 

3 Of course. Warner talks of his 
having been "restored with the general 
consent of the states of the Kingdom" 
whatever that may mean; and his 
follower, Mr. M-Dermot, gives us an 
acc(jxmt of a formal " assembly of the 
states of the Kingdom, assembled to 

elect a successor," in which " they all 
concurred in restoring" Malachy. 
Warner, Hist, of Irel., ii., p. 223. 
M'Dermot, New and Impartial Hist, 
of Irel., ii., 274. For such a state- 
ment there is not the smallest autho- 

* Brian. Moore, ii., p. 138. The 
Annals of Ulster and the Four M. 
have followed the older chronicle ; the 
latter annalists expressly quote " the 
Book of Clonmacnoise," by which they 
mean what we now call the Annals of 
Tighernach. See O'Flaherty, Ogyg., 
p. 436. :Mr. Moore says that Tigher- 
nach " wrote in the following cen- 
tury." By this error he impairs his 
own argument, for Tighernach died in 
1088, before the end of the same cen- 



The posi- 
tion of the 
of Ireland, 
not seri- 

had a prescriptive right of five hundred years. The Kings 
of Connaught and Leinster now asserted their claims to the 
succession, maintaining that they had as good a title as 
Brian had to become chief-king in their turns ; and thus, 
from the death of Malachy to the days of Strongbow, the 
history of Ireland is little more than a history of the 
struggles for ascendancy between the great clans or 
families of O'Neill,' O'Connor, O'Brien, and the chieftains 
of Leinster. 

The Norsemen of Ireland were not seriously affected 
in their position by the victory of Clontarf They re- 
tained their hold of the great seaports, and the Irish 
annals, for some years, continue to record the usual 
amount of conflict between them and the native tribes. 
We read, however, of but few new invasions, and the 
design of forming in Ireland a Scandina\'ian kingdom, 
which seems to have influenced such men as Sigm-d, of 
Orkney, and the viking Brodar, was certainly abandoned. 
The national distinction between the Irish and the Danes, 

1 O'Neill. In this clan are included 
the descendants of Malachy II., who 
■was of the Southern Hy Neill. The 
celebrated Dearbhforgaill, or Dervor- 
gall, " the Helen of Ireland," was the 
daughter of ]Murchadh Cob. 1153), son 
of Domhnail (ob. 1094), son of Flann 
(si. 1013), son of Malachy. She was 
the wife of Tighernan O'Rourke, of 
Brefné. She eloped with, or was car- 
ried off by Diarmaid, called Mac Mur- 
chadha, in 1152, and was the cause of 
his calling to his aid the Norman 
Knights of Henry II. In 1153 she 
returned to her husband ; was a great 
benefactor to the Church, and died in 
the abbey of Mellifont, 1193, aged 85. 
Diarmaid (see pp. ix., xi.), was de- 
scended from Enna Cennsalech (K. of 
Leinster in the fourth century), and 
was the ancestor of theMacMurchadha 
or Mac MuiTOughs of Leinster, whilst 

his sons, Domhnail, surnamed Caemh- 
anach [Kavanagh], and Enna, sur- 
named from liis great ancestor Cenn- 
salach [Kinnsela], were the ancestors 
respectively of the families of Kava- 
nagh and Kinnsela. The CByrnes 
were descended from Bran, son of 
Maelmordha, the King of Leinster, 
Avho fell in the battle of Clontarf. 
These are the principal families of 
Leinster alluded to above. The Mac 
Lochlainn, or O'Lochlainn, were of 
the Northern O'Neill, descended from 
Domhnail, brother of Niall Glundubh. 
Two of this family, Domhnail Mac 
Lochlainn (ob. 1121), and Muircher- 
tach, or Morrogh (1 150-1 1G6), claimed 
to be Kings of Ireland in the confused 
times of the 12th century, which 
preceded the coming of the Anglo- 
Normans. O'Flaherty, Ogyg., pp. 439, 



however, continued until after the Anglo-Norman inva- 
sion ; the Danes then in several places sided with the 
native chieftains ; but in many instances they appear to 
have recognised in the new comers a kindred origin. In 
the seaport towns especially a common interest produced 
alliances by which the peculiarities of the two races were 
gradually softened down, and both were at length con- 
founded by the Irish under the same generic name of 
Gaill, or foreigners. 

The battle of Clontarf seems to have shaken the Paganism 
foundation of paganism among the Scandinavians of Ire- ^^^^^^ 

■Í o _ o _ ... among the 

land. About the same time, indeed, Chiistianity, so Irish 
called, or, at least, a profession of Christianity, was making °''^'sners. 
considerable progress in the north ; and paganism in 
Ireland was no longer strengthened by any new arrivals. 
It may have been, as a learned waiter' holds, that on the 
field of Clontarf the spells of heathendom were deemed 
to have been vanquished for ever by the superior power 
of the faith, so that it was considered hopeless to continue 
the contest ; and it is certain that tlie next generation saw 
Christianity the recognised religion of the country ; and 
Bishoprics were founded in the Danish cities of Dublin, 
Waterford, and Limerick, at the instance of the Danish 
inhabitants themselves.^ Most true, nevertheless, it is 
" that the pure doctrines of Christianity were then the 
possession of a few, while the creed of the common herd 
was little more than a garbled blending of the most 
jarring tenets and "svildest superstitions of both faiths.^" 

1 Writer. Dasent, Burnt XJal, 
Introd., p. elxxxix., sq. 

2 Themselves. See Ware's Bishops, 
in loc Ussher, Religion of the Ant. 
Irish; (WorJcs by Elrington, iv., p. 
326). Sylloge Epistt. Hib. {ib., p. 

* Faiths. See Burnt yjal, p. cxcviii. 
One or t\ro instances will suffice to 
show how King Olaf the Saint pro- 

pagated Christianity. In the Uplands 
he " inquired particularly how it stood 
with their Christianity; if there were 
any there who would not renounce hea- 
then ways ;" he " drove some out of 
the country, mutilated others of hands 
or feet, or stung their eyes out ; hung 
up some, cut down some with the 
sword; but let none go unpunished 
who would not serve God." See 



object in 
this Intro- 


The Editor must now apologise for the great length to 
which these remarks have extended. His object was, as 
far as possible, to identify every jjlace mentioned in the 
present work by pointing out its modern name and geo- 
graphical position, that the reader might be enabled to 
trace on the map of Ireland the ancient stations and fort- 
resses of the Norsemen, and the sites of their principal 

He has also endeavoured to give, as accuratelj^ as he 
could, the genealogies of the Irish chieftains as well as of 
the Danish or other Scandinavian leaders who are men- 
tioned in the work. The corruption of the names of the 
latter, as they are represented by Irish transcribers, was a 
serious obstacle to accuracy in this attempt, and to it was 
added the further difficulty caused by the Editor's im- 
perfect acquaintance with the language of the Sagas. It 
is hoped that his mistakes will be viewed with indulgence, 
when it is remembered that this is the first attempt ever 
made to harmonize the genealogies of the north with Irish 
historical records. 

It appears to the Editor to be an object well worth 
the time and labour he has expended upon it, if he has 
succeeded in proving that the minute history of the two 
countries can be made to dovetail satisfactorily into each 
other. This will be an unanswerable evidence of the 

Laing, Sea Kings of Norway, ii., p. 
79. Again, at Heligoland, "lie threat- 
ened every man with loss of life, and 
limbs, and property, who would not 
subject himself to Christian law." 
Ibid.^ p. 147. In the Drontheim 
country he surprised the people at a 
heathen sacrilice ; Olver, in whose 
farm called Egge the feast was held, 
he commanded to be put to death, 
with " many other men besides." 
"^The King also let all the bonders 

he thought had the greatest part in 
the business be plundered by his men 
at arms;" and of the men he judged 
most guilty, some he ordered to be 
executed, some he maimed, some he 
drove out of the country, and took 
fines from others." lUd., p. 152. 
After this fashion Christianity was 
established in Norway by King Olave 
the Saint, and such were the mission- 
ary services to the Church that won 
him that title. 


authenticity of both ; for it would be clearly impossible 
that the author of a mere fiction, or of a dishonest forgery, 
should be able to make the genealogy of his heroes, as 
well as the geography of his narrative, tally with the 
facts of the history at the precise period to which his 
story belongs. In the present instance it will be found 
that, except in the case of some mere errors of trans- 
cription, or of some palpable interpolations, this work will 
fully stand the test. 

Nevertheless, the Editor cannot but regret that this Defects of 
tract, so ftiU of the feehngs of clanship, and of the conse- i^^'rE;"'"' 
quent partisanship of the time, disfigured also by consi- 
derable interpolations, and by a bombastic style in the 
worst taste, should have been selected as the first specimen 
of an Irish Chronicle presented to the public under the 
sanction of the Master of the Rolls. His own wish and importance 
recommendation to His Honor was, that the purely ?^ pubiish- 
historical chronicles, such as the Annals of Tighernach, the irfsh An- 
Annals of Ulster, or the Annals of Loch Ce, should have J^\°^ 
been first undertaken. The two former compilations, it is and Ulster. 
true, had been already printed,^ by Dr. O'Conor, althouo-h 
with bad translations and wretchedly erroneous topoora- 
phy; and a rule which at that time existed prohibited the 
Master of the Rolls from yjublishing any work which had, 
even in part, been printed before. This rule has since been 
judiciously rescinded f and it is hoped that His Lord- 
ship will soon be induced to sanction a series of the 
Chronicles of Ireland, especially the two just alluded 
to, which, it is not too much to say, are to the history of 
Ireland and of Scotland what the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 
is to that of England. The Annals of Loch Cé^ belong to 

1 Printed. The Ann. of Ulster are 
given only to the year 1131. The 
Dublin MS. extends to 1503. The 
Chronicon Scotorum is not here men- 
tioned, because it is already on the list 
of the Master of the Rolls, edited by 
Mr. W. M. Hennessy. 

2 Rescinded. New editions of the 
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the Annales 
Cambria;, and the Brut y Tywysogion, 
have already appeared in the series. 

3 Loch Cé. Or "Annals of Inis Mac 
nErinn in Loch Ce," {pron. Louo-h 
Ke.) These Annals (of which only 
a single MS. exists) were formerly 
called Tigernachi continuatio, and for 
a short time the Annals of Kilronan. 
But Jlr. 0"Curry {Lectures, p. 93, sq.^ 
has satisfactorily shown that they are 
the Annals of Loch Ce', mentioned by 
Abp. Nicholson in Appendix, No. IV., 
to his Irish Historical Librarj-. 


a later period. They begin with the battle of Clontarf, 
1014, and continue the history, with some few gaps, to 

Until these and other original sources of history are 
made accessible, it is vain to expect any sober or trust- 
worthy history of Ireland ; the old romantic notions of a 
golden age, so attractive to some minds, must continue 
to prevail ; and there will still be firm believers in " the 
glories of Brian the brave," the lady who walked through 
Ireland unmolested in her gold and jewels, and the chival- 
rous feats of Finn Mac Cumhaill and his Fenians. 
Authors of The authors of our existing popular liistories were 
hMories'oT avowedly ignorant, with scarcely an exception, of the 
Ireland aucicnt lanojuaofe of Ireland, the language in which the 
fff^n'oTant of ^^^^ sourccs of Irish history are wi'itten. It was as if the 
the Irish authors of our histories of Rome had been all ignorant of 
anguage. j^^^^^j^^ ^j^j ^]^g wi'iters of our histories of Greece unable 
to read Greek. Even this, however, would not fully re- 
present the real state of the case as regards Ireland. Livy 
and Tacitus, Herodotus, and Thucydides, are printed books, 
and cfood translations of them exist. But the authorities 
of Irish history are still, for the most part, in manuscript, 
unpublished, untranslated, and scattered in the public 
libraries of Dublin, Oxford, and London, as weU as on the 
Continent of Europe. Hence our popular histories leave 
us completely in the dark, and often contain erroneous in- 
formation. Wherever the Irish names of persons or places 
are concerned, they are at fault ; they are entirely silent 
on the genealogies, relationships, and laws of the clans 
and their chieftains, a subject so essential to the right 
understanding of Irish history ; and we are not coiTectly 
informed either who the actors are, or where the scenes 
of the narrative are laid. AU interest in the story is 
therefore lost. 
Anti- Along with this total neglect of the original Irish 

quarian rccords, the antiquarian scholars of the last centuiy had 
theTast perplexed themselves with untenable theories as to the 
century, ^ ancient history of the country. The old Celtic language 
ireiani. " was a dialect of the Punic or Carthaginian. The aboriginal 
inhabitants of Ireland were a colony from T^a-e or from 



Carthage. Their religion was the worship of Baal or 
Astarte. The Round Towers were temples for the adora- 
tion of fire. The cromlechs, stone circles, and other 
megalithic monuments, were altars or theatres for the 
public immolation of human victims. To these theories, 
for which not the slightest evidence exists, but which 
have not yet lost their hold on the public mind, the whole 
history of Ireland was made to bend. Antiquity was 
ransacked for arguments to support them ; and argu- 
ments were piled together from the remains of pagan 
Greece and Rome, from Persia, from Scandinavia, from 
India — from every quarter of the globe except Ireland. 

But a decided change for the better has now begun ; Improve- 
and our more recent histories, even though they continue "®"* ^'^ °"! 

' o J ^ more recent 

to exhibit a strong party bias, contrast most favourably popular 
with the similar publications of the last century. The ^'^*^'^^^*' 
beginning of this change is mainly due to the noble 
design of publishing historical Memoirs of the counties 
and towns of Ireland, planned, and in a measure carried 
out, by the enlightened officers^ then at the head of 
the Ordnance Survey of Ireland. The new feature in 
this work was, that it was resolved from the beginning 
to make use of all the accessible records extant in the 
Irish language. The original orthography of the names 
of towns and townlands, with their true etymologies, 
was carefully studied, and the anglicized spelling cor- 
rected, according to the laws which appeared to regulate 
the passage of the old Irish names,"'' into their present 
modern representatives. A body of Irish scholars was en- 
gaged for this work, and for the collection of materials for 
the " Memoirs ;" and at their head was placed the late ever to 

1 Officers. Although we speak here 
in the plural number, it is well known 
that the real designer and organizer of 
the Memoirs was one, whose appoint- 
ment to his present office has been of 
such great and permanent benefit to 
Ireland. It is lamentable to think 
that such a work, after the publica- 

tion of a single volume of the highest 
merit, should have been abandoned. 

2 Names. See a paper " On the 
changes and corruptions of Irish topo- 
graphical names," by Patrick W. 
Joyce, esq., in the Proceedings of the 
Royal Irish Academy (read May 22, 




given to the 
Editor of 
this work 
by his 

be lamented George Petrie. A more judicious selection 
could not have been made. He was a man singularly 
devoid of all party prejudice ; an accomplished anti- 
quary, of rare judgment and of ripe scholarship; charac- 
terized in a remarkable manner by the love of historical 
truth. Among the staff under his direction were John 
O'Donovan^ and Eugene O'Curry, men of very different 
genius and character, but who both became, under the 
advantages thus afforded them, scholars of the highest 

To Petrie, and to the two distinguished men just named 
— all three now alas lost to us — the Editor is deeply in- 
debted for invaluable assistance in translating and editing 
the present work. By Mr. O'Curry the original MSS. 
were transcribed for collation, and a rough translation of 
the text prepared. From these transcripts the Editor care- 
fully collected the various readings, which will be found in 

1 0' Donovan. One good result of 
the preparations made for the Ord- 
nance Survey JMemoirs was the publi- 
cation of the Annals of the Four 
Masters, a magnificent work, which 
we owe to the spirit and patriotism of 
our great Dublin publisher, Mr. George 
Smith. In the copious notes with 
which Dr. 0' Donovan has enriched 
his translation of these Annals, a large 
portion of the matter collected by him 
when engaged on the Survey has been 
preserved. He has also published a 
great mass of valuable information, of 
the same kind, in the works so ably 
edited by him for the Irish Archieo- 
logical and Celtic Societies. To these 
publications the improved tone of our 
modern Irisli historians, above no- 
ticed, is mainly due. The new trans- 
lation of Keating's History of Ireland, 
lately published at New York (Ha- 
verty, 1857) by IMr. John O'IMahony, 
is largely indebted to O'Donovan's 
notes upon the Four Masters. Not- 
withstanding the extravagant and very 

mischievous political opinions avowed 
by Mr. O'Mahony, his translation of 
Keating is a great improvement upon 
the ignorant and dishonest one pub- 
lished by ilr. Dermod O'Connor more 
than a century ago {Westminster, 
1726, Fo/.), which has so unjustly 
lowered, in public estimation, the 
character of Keating as an historian ; 
but O'Mahony's translation has been 
taken from a verj' imperfect text, 
and has evidently been executed, 
as he himself confesses, in great haste ; 
it has, therefore, by no means superseded 
a new and scholarlike translation of 
Keating, which is greatly wanted. 
Keating's authorities are still almost 
all accessible to us, and should be col- 
lated for the correction of his text ; 
and two excellent MS. copies of the 
original Irish, by John Torna O'JMul- 
conrj', a contemporary of Keating, are 
now in the Library of Trinity College, 
Dublin. The work, however, is not 
suited for Lord Romilly's series of 


the notes under the text ; and corrected the translation to 
the best of his judgment, having in every instance the 
opinion and advice of Dr. O'Donovan and Mr. O' Curry 
upon all difficulties. The whole text of the work, to p. 
217, with the translation, was in this way gone over and 
printed before those great masters of the ancient lan- 
guage and history of Ireland were called to their ever- 
lasting rest. 

From Dr. O'Donovan especially the Editor received a 
large amount of information, communicated in the shape 
of notes upon the narrative. From these notes invalu- 
able aid was derived in the identification of the topo- 
graphical names, and in the Irish genealogical researches. 

To Dr. Reeves the Editor owes his most grateful thanks, 
for his kindness in reading, with his characteristic ac- 
curacy and care, the proof-sheets of the Introduction, and 
Genealogical tables in the Appendix ; and particularly for 
the free communication of that extensive topographical 
and other information, of which he is an inexhaustible 

He is deeply indebted also to his excellent friend, 
Charles Haliday, esq., who kindly placed in his hands 
the materials of a work on the connexion between the 
Norsemen of Ireland and Noi-thumberland, containing 
much valuable genealogical and historical information. 
By these papers the Editor's researches were directed 
to the best sources of Scandinavian history, and he was 
enabled to test the accuracy of the results at which he 
had himself independently and previously arrived. 

His thanks are due to Mr. W. M. Hennessy, for very 
able assistance in reading the sheets, and for several cor- 
rections and suggestions, which he hopes he has duly 
acknowledged in every instance.' To Mr. Hennessy also 
the reader is indebted for that most necessary appendage 
to every book of this kind — the Index. 

1 Every instance. — The correction of | name (see p. xcii, n. 3), is due to Mr. 

tlie text (p. 37) where comaip 
"measure," was mistaken for a proper 




of the 

Lithographed facsimiles of the two principal manu- 
scripts used in forming the Irish text of the work will be 
seen prefixed to the title page. These MSS. have already- 
been described ;' but it should be stated that the facsi- 
miles of them have been executed under considerable 
disadvantages. The rules of the Library of Trinity 
College, Dublin, did not permit the removal of the ori- 
ginals to London. Accordingly photographs were taken 
of the selected specimens by Mr. Mercer, of Dublin, and 
sent to London to be lithographed by Messrs. Day and Co. 
In the case of the older MS. designated by the letter L, 
the difficulty was very great, owing to the darkness of 
the parchment, and the almost entire obliteration of the 
va'iting on the page selected. It was desirable, however, 
to give that page on account of its containing the com- 
mencement of the work, deficient in the other MS.; and 
for the sake of the ornamented initial letter, which is 
characteristic of this class of Irish manuscripts. To meet 
the difficulties it became necessary to render the letters 
more distinct, by carefully retracing them, before sending 
the photograph to the lithographer, and also to omit alto- 
gether the second column^ of the page, which was found 
too dark and obliterated to be restored by this process. 
It is, however, to be feared that notwithstanding the 
great care and accuracy with which the letters were re- 
traced, a blurred appearance has been given to the writing, 
which does not do full justice to the sharp definition and 
elegance of the original character. The other MS. (marked 
D), is much more accurately represented. 

The Editor in conclusion has to return his thanks to 
Lord Romilly for so kindly allowing liim, without any 
pressure, his full time to complete the work. He is 

1 Described. See pp. ix., xiii. 

* Column. It has been stated (p, 
ix.), that this MS. is written in double 
columns. The passage given, Plate I, 
occupies about a third of the first 
column. It will be found in ordinary 

type, with a translation, in Appendix 
A, p. 221. The passage selected from 
the MS. D, Plate II., will be found 
at the beginning of p. 62, line 2, 
sq. It represents a full page of the 


ashamed to put on record the date at which it was first 
announced for publication. In his own defence he has to 
plead the occupation of his time by professional avoca- 
tions, as well as the peculiar difficulties of the work itself, 
which nothing but time could overcome. The translation 
requu'ed the greatest consideration, owing to the immense 
number of Irish words, to whose true sigiiification our 
dictionaries give no clue. The labour of forming a 
correct text by a careful collation of the existing manu- 
scripts of the work was necessarily irksome and tedious. 
The topographical and historical matter collected in the In- 
troduction and Appendices, required much time and patient 
research, as everj^ one who has ever been engaged in such 
studies, will readily admit. Each statement had to be 
well weighed, the authorities checked, and many para- 
graphs written and rewritten before the matter was given 
to the printer. 

Trinity College, Dublix, 
October, 1866. 

co'Stt'oh 'scce'olie?, Re ■giillaibh. 




co^croli ^aexihel ne ^aWccibh. 

The period 
of the 
170, or, as 
some say, 
200 years. 

The kings 
of Munster 
during that 

CC1 'DociiaiT:ce lon^nai) aT)bal,nióf. cq^e^iinii 
«lie 50 -poiyilecan, ó ^ennoiB bO^iTn^lafa 
5tifincf]aa, ocuf ó 'oaiiaiiaiíj 'Doilge vví\i- 
c]^01'Deacha, pyii |ié cicm, ociif \ie haimfii^ 
■paDCi, .1. pjii |ieiifie^^ -Deic mblia'Dan ocuf 
oco picio, no Da cei) iqi 'ppoi^nnn .1. ó 
lieniief CCi^iqii mic Ccrccnl mic ■pm^aine, 
CO iT.eiiTief Oiiictin mic Ciiinéir;T:i| ; ocuf 
o |ieiinef CCo-oa mic Weill -piia^^fcci^ tnic 
Pefi^aile, co maol]"eclainn mac "Dom- 

II. Oco ]\\^ Dec 111 cCai)^iiil ppi]>-iMi' 1^^ I"'!''- 1~ 1^^ 
annfo an anmanna, .1. CCiiio^ii mac Carail mic pin- 
game ; ocuf "PeiDliniiD mac Cyiiomrainn ; OlcóBaf. mac 
Cinaei ; CCilgenán mac "Dnn^aile ; lllaolgnala mac 
"Dungalaig ; Cennpaelax) mac niti]ichai'D ; T)onnchaT> 
mac X)tiiljDalioi|ienn ; "DuBlachona mac niaelguala ; 
pngmne mac Laegaiiie Cenn Regain ; Cojibmac mac 
Cmlennam ; piaiitie^ioac mac lonmamen ; Loii.can mac 
Con nil gam ; Ceallacan mac OúaDacam; TTlaelpaéa]"i-ai5 

1 Gaedhil. That is, "the War of 
the Irish," who in their own language 
call themselves Gaedhil or Gael (in 
Welsh GwyddiT), "with the Gaill," 
strangers or foreigners, a generic name 
given to all invaders of Ireland. See 
O'Donovan's Transl. of Booh of Rights^ 
p. 51, n. 9. The original tenns are 
here retained without translation, be- 
cause of the alliteration which was 
evidently intended. 

" Aicfully great. L. omits the ex- 
pletive adjectives and reads, Oui tio- 
cifiaici inop. po^x ■peiiaiti liGixenn, 
" there was a gi'eat oppression on the 
men of Ireland." See Appendix A. 

^ Gentiles. L. reads, Loch Ian n c ai b, 
omitting the adjectives 501x111 5ta']fO, 

* Fierce. L. reads, "Dui/gilJ 'Diiix- 
cixToecaib, the ancient and more 
grammatically correct forms. The 


THERE was an astonishing and awfully great^ op- The period 
pression over all Erinn, throughout its breadth, by Danish 
powerfid azure Gentiles,^ and by fierce,* hard-hearted invasions, 
Danars, during a lengthened period, and for a long time, gome saj-, 
namely, for the space of eight score and ten years, or two 200 years. 
hundred, according to some authorities, that is to say, 
from the time of Airtri, son of Cathal, son of Finguine, to 
the time of Brian, son of Cenneidigh,' and from the reign 
of Aedh, son of Niall Frassach,^ son of Ferghal, to Mael- 
sechlainn,'^ son of Domhnall. 

II. There were eighteen^ kings in Caisel during that The kings 
time. These are their names — viz., Airtri, son of Cathal, ^uriÍ^^thTt 
son of Finguine ; and Feidhlimidh, son of Criomhthann ; time. 
Olchobhar, son of Cinaeth ; Ailgenan, son of Dungal ; 
Maelguala, son of Dungal ; Cennfaeladh, son of Murchadh ; 
Donnchadh, son of Dubhdabhoirenn ; Dubhlachtna, son of 
Maelguala ; Finguine, son of Laeghaire, surnamed Cenn- 
gegain ; Cormac, son of Cuilennan ; Flaithbhertach, son 
of lonmhainen ; Lorcan, son of Connligan ; Cellachan, son 
of Buadliachan ; Maelfathartaigh, son of Bran ; Dubh- 

reader will observe the alliteration 
in the adjectives ó ^enncib 5. 5. ó 
'oanaixctitj t). T). 

^ Cenneidigh. L. adds, i Car]piul, 
"in Cashel." 

® Niall Frassach. L. adds, i 'Cem- 
yiaig, " in Teamhar or Tara." L. also 
omits the genealogical particulars, 
giving only the names of the kings, 
without the names of their grandfathers. 

" To Maelsechlainn. L. omits the 
words "toMaelsechlainn.sonof Domh- 

8 Eigideen. L. reads, p 1115 -Deg, 
" sixteen kings," and omits the list of 
names, which is therefore probably an 
interpolation. The text gives nine- 
teen names — one name has, therefore, 
probably been interpolated. See Ap- 
pendix B. 

*B 2 

cosccT)li ^cceTjlie? vie ^(xllccibTi. 

The kings 
of Ireland 
the same 

The first 
of the 

A.D. 812. 

A.D. 821- 

mac biicdii ; T)tiBT)aBoii">eiiii mac "Dornnaill; pei'V5;i"»aiT)1i 
mac Cle]"ii5; TDonnchaT) mac CelUnf; inctr^ainain mac 
CeinneiT:ci5 ; ocuf bjnan mac CeinneiT:-i§. 

III. "Da 1^15 T)ec imojiiio, -poii "Cemiiaij;, pf-iy an y.e Y)u, 
.1. CCoT) Oiiim-Dhe mac Tleill Piutfy^ai^, Con cob hap. mac 
T)onncbaf)a, 11iall mac CCe'ha, ITiaelfechlainn mac 
inaelptianaTD, CCcd "Pinnbac, piann mac ITlaelvec- 
lainn, lliall ^Inn-Dtili, T)onnchaT) mac "piomn, Con^alac 
mac lllaelmiri^, "Domnall ó lleill, mccelfeclamn mac 
*Domnaill, ocuf Oiiian mac Ceinneim§. p^ii -iieinief 
na 11105 fin, ociiy> na qia, moii T)0 'buax) ocup 
"DO 'Docaf., vo T:á]\ ocii^^ do ra]T.caifi'G, 'DimncD ociif 
"oeccomnapx yio poDaimfioi; yjiuiire ixcepa v*^i^^rctca 
nanT^aeiTiel, ó T)anma]icacail3 allmaii'oaib, octiy ó v^- 
be]it:air) ba^ibap.Daib. 

IV. 18 yie ]ieiiiie]^ qia CCipqii mic Cacail, ocuf 
CCo'Da mic lleill, iio oinnfcainfet; ^oill in-DiiaD G^ienn 
a]! zuy, 'Dái§ i]^ nanaim]^iii fin ran^a-oa]! ^oilL 1 
^Camaf ó poraiT) "Cife .1. pice a]\ céx) lon^ ; ociif 
]\o liinDfet) leó an T,^\i, ociif fo haif^et) ocuf ]\o 
loifcef) leó Inif Labfainx), ociif T)aifini]^; ocuf oii^faT» 
Goganacr Loca Léin cac T)óib, ocuf fo maiibat) fe pyt 
Deg a]\ .cccc. "do ^allaiB ani), .1. an bliaT)ain ap, 
map.bat) T)imain CCf.aT) fin, .1. .x. mblia-ona a)inécc 
CCifqii mic Car ail. 

V. 'Cctinij lon^ef ele laf fin .1. an -oafa blia-oain 
Kifn^abail fi|e vo ■pei-olim mac Cfimrainn, co fo 
in'DfaiT)|>et; Cofcai'g, ocuf 1nif "Cenini, ocu]^ fo hin-o- 

1 Cellach. Read Cellachan. See Ap- 
pendix B. 

- Temhair : i.e., in Tara. As the 
kings of Munster are designated as 
kings in Caisel, or Cashel, their 
royal seat or fortress — so the kings 
f>f Ireland are called kings in Tarn, 
although the royal palace there had 
ceased to be the actual residence of 
the supreme king, for some time before 

the Danish invasions. Here again L. 
omits the list of names. 

•> During the time. L. omits the 
expletives in this paragraph. See 
Appendix A. 

* Airtri. In this passage B. puts 
the king of Munster first, and the 
king of Ireland second. The order is 
inverted in L. This latter MS. was 
not written in Munster. 


dabhoireiiu, son of Domhnall ; Fergraidh, son of Clerech ; 
Donnchadh, son of Cellach^ ; Mathghamhain, son of Cenn- 
eidigli ; and Brian, son of Cenneidigh. 

III. But in Temhaii-^ there were twelve kings during the The kings 

f T ■ 1. 1 

same period — namely, Aedh Oirdnidhe, son of Niall Fras- [jurino'"' 
saeh ; Conchobhar, son of Donnchadh; Niall, son of Aedh ; the same 
Maelsechlaimi, son of Maelruanaidh ; Aedh Finnliath ; '^'^""' ' 
Flann, son of Maelsechlainn ; Niall Glundubh ; Donnchadh, 
sou of Flann ; Conghalach, son of Maelmithigh ; Domh- 
nall, grandson of Niall; Maelsechlainn, son of Domhnall ; 
and Brian, son of Cenneidigh. During the time'' of those 
kings and chieftains, much hardship and op})ression, con- 
tempt and indignity, fatigue and weakness, were suljmitted 
to by the learned and accomplished nobles of the Gaedlnl, 
from pirate Danmarcachs, and barbarovis robl^ers. 

IV. It was in the time of Airtri,"* son of Cathal, and of The first 
Aedh, son of Niall, that the foreigners first bef»-an the ""'^s'^ii 

o 01 the 

devastation of Erinn ; for it M^as in their time the foreigners, 
foreigners came into Camas ó Fothaidh Tire"" — viz., an 
hundred and twenty'' ships, and the country was plun- 
dered and devastated by them, and Inis Labrainn and 
Dairinis were burned by them. And the Eoganachts of 
Loch Lein gave them battle, when four hundred and six- 
teen men of the foreigners were killed. This was the 
year after" that in which Diman of Aradh was killed, A.D. 812. 
and ten years after ihe death of Airtri, son of Cathal. 

V. There came another fleet after that — viz., in the Another 
second year after the accession to the throne of Feidhlim, a"d* gn 
son of Crimhthann, and they plundered Corcach, and Inis 823. 

5 Camris 6 Fothaidh Tire. CaninniY> 
nm ■pciéai'ó T^^yie L. Caoiminip 
o bPotaiT) (Fair Island of Ui Foth- 
aidh), Keating. Introd., p. xxxvi., n. a. 

6 An hundred and twenty. L. has 
the same number, but Keating reads, 
I.UCC cjxi pcic long cc tion, "the 
crews of three score ships was their 

7 After. L. omits the notice of Di- 
man's death, and reads, .i.m 'Decíima'o 
blia'oain laenecc CCixciai: "i.e., the 
tenth year before the death of Artri." 
See App. A. and B. Another instance 
of the same difference will be found, 
chap, xxiii. (p. 22, note 3), where the 
Four M. understood after, although 
here tliey understood hefore. 


co^ccdIi ^a:eT)1ieL vie ^ccllccibti. 

Bangor in 
A.D.82Í, 5. 

Invasion of 
Hy Cenn- 
selaigh, and 
of the 
of Munster. 

fiea'D leó beirocaip, ociif Cluam tlaina, ociif Hof ITlae- 
táin. Ro hinT)|ieaT> leó Scellecc Tniclnl, ocup luiccfai; 
CD^all leó iiTibi^oiT), comf) "oo mio^ibmlibh crcpulla, 
ociif Tnayib tdo 50110a ocuf 'Diomx) aca he. 

VI. 'Came loiigef ele 1 rtiaii^ceiit: OpeiiT) Kqivin ; 
cerp.i blia-Diia laimec CCe-oa mic lleill ic Cii Tia 1^e]\z, 
ociip 110 aiii^fei: Oenctiii lIlaT), ociif \io b^iifi-ap- yc\v\n 
Com^aill, octif |io iníiai"ibaT)aíi a epfcop, ociip a viiiDi, 
ocuf a -piiiiui ; -oa aiyi^f ex: Diia ma^ pof. 

VII. 'Game loii^ef ele inmnb CeiTOfelai^, octif 
]\o ai^i^feo 'Ceac IDiinnu, ociif Tl^eac niolniT), ocuf 
1nif 'oeoc. 'Canca'oaii lafifin mnOfiiai^ib, ocuf |io 
hinpe-D in v^x leo. 'CticfaT: Ofpaip cere TDOib, ocuf 
Top-ocan .clxoc. 'Dib ant». Ro tJo^laT) leo 'Dun "Dep- 
nuigi, ocnp Imp Oo^anan, ocup "DipnipT: TTippain, ocup 
po hinpeT) leo Leap 1Tlop, octip po loipceD Cell 
mdappi, ociip Clnain-apT) ITInbeoc, ocup po hinpe-D 
-ona Lan-o Lepi, ocup Cen-o Slebi la paipm-o eli -oib. 
Ro haipsei) leo, T)na, Sop-D ColunTicilli, ocup "Damlias 
Cianan, Slam, ocup Opllapaili, ocup ■glenx) -oá laca. 

1 Ms Temhni. Inis Temli, L. Inis 
Doimhle, Four M. 

2 Bennchair. becheifie, L,, which 
is no doubt the true reading. See 
Appendix A. 

3 Ros-Maelain. Ros-niallain, L, 

4 Edgall. The Dublin MS. begins 
here -with the last three letters of this 

name, ati pceilí/51 teo unbixcoc 

comcixeb miixbuli crciiulla, ocup 
Dia^xb -DO so^xca ocup T)iT;ai'D acu : 

" [Edg]all of Scellig with them 

into captivity, so that it was by mir- 
acles he escaped, and he died of hunger 
and tliirst with them." See the read- 
ing of L., Appendix A, and note, p. 233. 
Hitherto the Irish text has been taken 
from B. In the remainder of the work, 
D., as being the more ancient MS., 
will be adopted as the basis of the 

text. The Irish reader will observe 
the change of orthographj-. 

s Its bishop, e-ppcob 111 ball, L., 
"the bishop of the town, "i.e., of Bangor. 

6 The plain. Til 05 liibili, L., 
"they plundered Magh-Bile," i.e., 
Movilla, in the county Down. This is 
probably the true reading. 

"^ Devastated. Ho baiiace-D, B., 
"was spoiled" or "robbed." 

8 One hundred and seventy. The 
reading of L. and B. is here adopted, 
as being the more probable number. 
D. has .X. ceiTDbc^a ocup t:\\\ picic, 
ocup c.lxx. 'o^h ctiTD: "Three score 
and ten helmets, and an hundred and 
seventy of them there," which seems 
evidently the combination of two dif- 
ferent readings : Keating reads, itiot)!- 
peipioyi ayi peace scex), "seven 
hundred and seven." 


Temlini'; and Bennchair,"^ and Cluain Uamlia, and Ros- 
Maelain,^ were plundered by tliem. Scelleg Michil was 
also plundered by them ; and tliey took Edgall^ with 
them into captivity, and it was by miracles he escaped, 
and he died of hunger and thirst with them. 

VI. There came, after that, another fleet into the north of 
Erinn, four years after the death of Aedh, son of Niall, at 
Ath-dá-Fert; and they plundered Bennchur of Uladh, and 
brake the shiine of Comhghall, and killed its bishop,'' and 
its doctors, and its clergy: they devastated, also, the plain.^ 

VII. Another fleet came to Ui Cennselaigh, and they 
plundered Teach Munnu, and Teach Moling, and Inis Teoc. 
They afterwards went into Osraighe, and the country 
was devastated^ by them. The Osraighe gave them 
battle; and there were killed of them there one hundred 
and seventy.^ By them were demolished Dun Der- 
muighe,^ and Inis Eoganain, and Disert Tipraiti; and 
they devastated Leas Mor, and burned Gill Molaisi, and 
Cluain-ard Mubeoc^"; Lann Leri,^^ also, and Cenn Slebhi 
were plundered by another party of them. There were 
plmidered^^ also by them Sord Coluim-cilli, and Damhag 
Cliianain, Slaini,^^ and Orlla-saile,^^ and Glenn-dá-Locha, 

Bangor in 
A.D. 824,5. 

Invasion of 
Hy Cenn- 
selaigh, and 
of the 
of Munster. 

9 Dun Dermuighe. T)iiii *Oei\j;- 
muiiie, B. " Dun Dergrauine." 

loil/wSeoc. niobeccoc L. Illobeog, 
B. Ill obeoT)05, Keating. The read- 
ing of L. is more correct, being the 
devotional form of the name of St. 
Bee (diminutive Becoc, or Becari), 
■with the pronoun mo, my, Mohecoc, 
"My Becog." Cf. Lanigan, Eccl. 
Hist., iii., p- 20. L. piitsthe plunder- 
ing of Dun Dermuighe, &c., after that 
of Lismore, Cill Molaisi, and Cluain- 

11 Lann Levi. These words, to the 
next full stop, are omitted in B. In 
L. the clause is given thus : Ra gab 
fiempo pacbuaTDiapxccin coSncmi 
CCisnec co \\o inill]peó Iuitd Leiii 

ocu-p Cell-pleibi : "They after- 
wards went northwards to Snamh 
Aignech" [Carlingford bay], "so that 
they spoiled Lann Leri, and Cell 
Shleibhi"[Killeavy]. Cellfleibi is 
a more correct reading than the CevTO 
Sl/ebi of the text. 

12 There were plundered. L. reads CC 
cuai-D ajxip -Doib co yio aiixgrec: 
"They returned again" [i.e., from the 
north of Ireland] "and plundered." 
"Damhliag Chianan," was at first 
written in the MS. -Dunciancm, Dun 
Chianan, but corrected by a later 

18 Slaini. Omitted in B. 

li Orlla-saile. L., B., and Keat- 
ing read, Cell uay^mle. 

co^ccdTi ^oce"Dliel ne ^ccllaibti. 

A fleet 
A.D. 834. 

Turgeis in 
the north 
of Ireland, 
assumes the 
of the 
A.D. 839. 

St. Ber- 
can's pro- 

ocu)" Cluccm tlaina, ocui^ Trnun^aiiiT:, ocuv iii^moii cell 

VIII. 'Came loii^ef ele -poiT. cuan Lnmní^, ociif i"io 
hin|iir; Coiico OaifciiiT), ociiy "Ciia-oiiai^i, ociif ii ComTl 
^abi^a leo. Cucfao o Conaill cat T»oib ic Sencrcib .1. 
"DoTicaT) inac Scaniilctn pi ua Conmll, ociif Tliall mac 
CiiTO-paelaT); ocuf ni -pef ca Ini iTDpocaiii aiTOfm T)ib. 

IX. 1^01110 ia|ifiii 1115101156)^ a'DbiiliTio|T, la 'Ciiji^ef, 
1 T:uafceiiT: 6p.eTin, ocuf ]\o ^ab 1^,151 ^all ©iieii-D, 
ociif ^lo hinfieT) cuafceiir; e-penn leo, ocuv l^o pcail- 
fe-c -po Leii CuiiTD. Ro gab rfia lon^ep "oib poii Loc 
Garac ; ociif |io ^ab lon^ef ele ic Lu^biiT); ociif ]\o 
^ab lon^ef ele 120)1 Loc Rai. Octi)^ )\a hinpeT) qia 
CCiiT» TRaca po qn i)"inniii mi)' leo fin, ociif |io ^ab 
1^11)15611' pein abbT)ani CC)iT)a Rlaca, octif 110 hinncqib 
Pa)ianan abb CC)iT)a Rlaca ocu)' cqit) comayiba pa- 
75)1010,00 ■co)iacT: Rlumain, octi)^ )X)iiii pa'0)iaic lei)^; 
octi)^ bin' cer)ii bliaf)na im niumani, ocii)^ 'Ciqi^ei)"' 11m 
CC)i'o ITlaca, ocu)" 1)1)1151 t:iiai)^ci)it; 0)1611-0; amail )io 
T:ai)in5i)i be)ican, p)iimpaii: nimi ocu)^ ralman, — 

^ Erinn. UiiTnop, ce\X n&iaeiTD 
tiite, L., "the greater part of the 
churches of all Ireland." So also 

2 Trndraiffhe. The reading of L., 
B., and Keating, is here adopted. D. 
reads T)aifiCTfiai5i. Instead of yiohin- 

■DYie-D Leo, as in B. andD., L. has 

fia hiiTDTfiic uatui^aiTie. 

^ Senati. SeaiTDOT), B. 8ean- 
naiT), Keating. The place of this 
battle is not mentioned in L. 

* Donnchadh, son ofScamilan. Don- 
adhach, 4 M. The clause mention- 
ing the names of these chieftains 
omitted in the text of L., is added in 
the margin in a later hand : but instead 
of Niall, son of Cennfaeladh, as he is 
called here, and also by the Four 
Masters (A.D. 845), this marginal 
addition in L. reads " Domhnall, son 

of Cennfaeladh, king of the Hi Cair- 
bri." See Appendix A., p. 224. 

5 There slain. Toiicaiii finii Tiiob, 
B., "was slain there." T)oi\ochaTp, 
arro, L., "fell there." 

<> Was plundered. Ro iiTDfiairioc, 
B., " they plundered." B. omits 


'' Leth Chiiinn. The northern half 
of Ireland, called Leth Chuinn or 
Conn's half. 

* Of them. For T)ib, the reading 
of L. and D., B. has ele, "another 

3 Lughbudh. llUigtinfo, L. luj- 
magh, B. and Keating. Xow 

10 Loch Rai. Loch Rj, L. loc 
Rib, B. and Keating. 

11 In the same month. \lo ty.^ pniii 
oen imp leo, L. "Po qxi in en ini 



and Quain Uamha, and Mungairt, and the gieater part of 
the churches of Erinn.' 

VIII. Another fleet came into the harbour of Luim- a fleet 
nech ; and Corco-Baiscinn, and Tradraighe,^ and Ui enters 
ConaiU Gabhra were plundered by them. The Ui Conaill harbour, 
defeated them at Senati,^ under Donnchadh, son of Scann- ^-^- ^*^"^- 
Ian/ king of Ui Conaill, and Niali, son of Cennfaeladli, 

and it is not known how many of them were there slain.'^ 

IX. There came after that a great royal fleet into the xuro-eis in 
north of Erinn, ^\dth Turgeis, who assumed the sovereignty the north 
of the foreigners of Erinn ; and the north of Erinn was assumés'the 
plundered^ by them, and they spread themselves over Leth sovereignty 
Chuinn.'^ A fleet of them'^ also entered Loch Eathach, foreio-ners 
and another fleet entered Lughbudh,^ and another fleet ^-^- '^3^- 
entered Loch Eai.^" Moreover, Ard Macha was plundered 

three times in the same month '^ by them ; and Turgeis 

himself- usurped the abbacy of Ard Macha, and Faran- 

nan,'^ abbot of Ard Macha, and chief comharba of Patrick, 

was driven out,'^ and went to'^ Mumhain, and Patrick's 

shrine with him; and he was four years in Mumhain, 

while Turgeis was in Ard Macha, '^ and in the sovereignty'^ 

of the north of Erinn, as Bercan'^ prophesied, chief pro- st. Ber- 

phet of heaven and earth,'-' — can's pro- 


Leo, B. These are merely differences 
of orthography, except that B. omits 
r'ln, reading " in one month," instead 
of "in the same month." 

12 Himself. B. omits -pein, and 
merely says " Turgeis," instead of 
" Turgeis himself." The name of this 
chieftainisouiifiseii-^inB. throughout. 
D. has 'CuYigeip woni., T-n^-^iSf., gen. 

13 Farannan. Forannan, L. and B. 
throughout. Comharba, is the name 
given to a successor in an episcopal 
or abbatial see. 

14 Driven out. Ro hiiTDixeccT) ocuy^ 
Yio hiiTDafiba-D, B., "was driven out 
and banished." Tflo innaiibax) ctyy, 
L., " driven away," 

^^ Went to. Lit. reached. Coifiyiocc, 
L. 'gon "oeachaTi, B., "came to." 

16 /?i Ard Macha. In ubT)aine 
CCi\T)CC n"iaca, B., "in the abbacy of 
Ard Macha.'' 

1" And in the sovereignty. L. reads 
ocu-p neinc cua^-^ciinc h&iaeinj aice, 
" and the power of the north of Erinn 
was with him." 

1* Bercan. L. introduces this pro- 
phecy thus: IpaiTDpn iia comctl- 
la-D pctfcini beiichain in pyiim 
"pa'oa : " It was on this that the pro- 
phecy of Berchan, the eminent prophet, 
was fulfilled." 

'^^And earth. B. adds ocu'^axX)e\XC, 
" and he said," 


co^ccoli scce'oTiel ue ^ccllccibli. 

'C-icyocc ^enri "ocqi iinii|X mall 

TTlefcapaic ^oji -peajxaib CtienT) 

bib ucccib c(bb a\i cac cill 

biT» uacib 1115 -pof. G^ien-D. 
■SeacT; bliccona -ooib, ni -pei-Din paii-o, 

In naii-Dixisi na liGixent), 

In nabbaDam caca cilli 

X)u 'Diibgencib X)uiblinni. 
biaiT) abb a]a niu cillfea -oe, 

ill cicpa "Don ei^meiiige, 

Car\'ipace\\, if can c^ieDa, 

^an goe-Dils, acu ^aill beyila. 

The pro- iio raifiiipiTt z]-ia CoUini C1U1 111 ni ce-nct pof, conebaint:, 

cXr^^^' 111 lonseir fm laca Rai 

Cille. Hia T)o mo^xa-D gall genn 

biT) uatib abb a|i CCixt) ITlaca 

biT) po^ilanuif anplctta. 

The X. Ro óincell, 'ona, fen Cicqiccn Saigiii in fcel cet;na 

of Ckrair -I- T>anaii\ po qii 'do feccbcdl OpenD, .1. T)aini -Dib aii 
the older, Colum CiUi 'Dinnaiabcc, ocuf -oaim -oib in incro a ya- 
nai5Í:i fum 1 'caibl~in, ociif 'octim in maD rjiafci nccn 
appeal 1 'CeiTipai^. ConiD aipfin \\o can in pili-o ocup 
andofBec-iTi paic .1. bec iiKcc T)é, coniT) ayhe]xc, 

mac-Dé. ^ . 

Í Soft. Keatiug reads, niecmii, 
"over the glorious sea."— Cwrri/'s Copi/, 
p. 590. Keating quotes only the first 
quatrain of this prophecy. 

2 The men. L. reads, •peYiaiiT), " the 

3 Over evei-y church. (XbctTD -po^a 
cac ciU, L. For this and the next 
line, B. substitutes the last two lines 
of the quatrain, attributed to St. 
Colum Cille: this -n-as probably an 
error of transcription, arising from the 
initial words of thellnes beingthe same. 

* A kinrj. nexiv, L., " power over 

5 Seven years. This quatrain is 
omitted in 13. 

s BIckIc Gentiles. L. reads "oo 
'geticib -Duin "Dublini, "the Gen- 
tiles of the fort of Dublin." 

''My church. ITIo cilt-pi -óe, B. 
PoiiiTicill-pe "oe, L. In the next 
line B. reads, ni éméeoca in lOfi- 
iiieiYige, a more modem but less cor- 
rect orthography. 

** Without Pater: i e., ignorant of the 
Pater noster and Credo — mere pagans. 

9 Withotit Irish. Can Lacni, L., 
"without Latin." But the alliteration 
of Gaedhilg, and Gaill, in D. and B., 
seems intentional. 

1" Colum Cille. "Item Colum Cille," 
L, Obcci^ic is, perhaps, an enor of the 
scribe for C-baiixc. 



" Gentiles shall come over the soft^ sea; 

They shall confound the men^ of Erinn ; 
Of them there shall be an abbot over every church^; 
Of them there shall be a king* over Erinn. 
Seven years'^ shall they be ; nor weak their power, 
In the high sovereignty of Erinn. 
In the abbacy of every church 
The black Gentiles'^ of Dubhlinn. 
There shall be of them an abbot over this my church ,7 
Who will not attend to matins ; 
Without Pater* and without Credo ; 
Without Irish,^ but only foreign language." 

Colum Cille'^also foretold the same thing, when he said — The pro - 

" This fleet of Loch Rai .^ P^f >'°i ^*- 

. ' Colum 

By whom'2 are magnified the Gaill-Gentiles ; Cille. 

Of them there shall be an abbot over^^ Ard Macha ; 

It shall be the government^* of a usurper." 

X. The old Ciaran, of Saigher, foretold also the same — The 

viz., that Danars would three times conquer Erinn: that P^op^^^i^s 

Í» 1 r- -1 n f> °^ Ciaran 

IS, a party oi them [m punishment] for the banishment of the older, 

Colum Cille '^; a party of them, for the insult^ ^ to [Ciaran] 

himself at Tailltin ; and a party for the fastino- of the 

Apostles^' in Temhair. And it was of this the poet and 

prophet Bec-mac-De sang, as he sa,id^* — andofBec- 


"^ Loch Rai. Loca Ri, L. Loca 
nitj, B. 

^^ By whom. For ^xio, "by whom," 
L. and B. read, niaié, "has -well 
exalted," or " magnitied." Keating 
reads, bat) maicb -do mo^xaT) 
■Seinnce, "the Gentiles shall be -well 
exalted." — Curi'i/s Copr/, p. .581. 

13 Over. L. and B. omit ai"i, and 
read, " an abbot of Ard Macha." 

1* Government. OlLamnctcc, L., 
"the rule" or "sovereignty.'" 

15 Of Colum Cille. CCix -pon Cot.tiiTi 
CitLe, B., " because of Colum Cille's 
banishment." The meaning is, that 
the Danes were sent bv Pro\-idence to 

punish the coimtry for the three na- 
tional sins mentioned. 

IS Insult. The word implies a sacrile- 
gious insult. CC i^a-p,ai jéi -pi u m pei n , 
B., "the sacrilege offered even to him- 
self," or " to his very self." 

I'' The Apostles: i.e., of the apostles 
or twelve eminent saints of Ireland — 
■naein hCp.enn, L., "of the saints 
of Erinn." 

'^^ As he said. The words, CotiTO 
a-pbeiio, are omitted in B. L. gives 
the prophecy of Bec-mac-De imme- 
diately after that attributed to Colum- 
cille, and then explains the allusion to 
the three invasions said to have been 


co^ccT)!! ^oceT)íiel Re ^ccllaibti. 

Loch Ree, 
and plun- 
ders the 
of j\Ieath 
and Con- 
A.D. 83S- 

Invasion of 
Dublin and 

*Oiaix ben clog i T3ailluin ze, 
Ciaiaan -pen ■pai'Dbiii -Sai^iie, 
"Do gell ['D&ixinn] comma z]Xi 
*Dama "Oaiut^i "oiilJlori^fi. 

CiT) r]\a ccco ranccccapo net ojii canoctna |>iri, ocu)^ ]\o 
coinollvo na pccy^oiin ; [(diiccil ^lo •caijiii^iji ^ach luteiii 
pi'lieii poiiiccliv;e]. 

XI. 'Came [v^a Tu\i-^e)y CCiit)CC tTlaccc, octif ]\o rocc- 
cnb] lon^ef ayi Log Rot, octi^ V-o hn\]ieT> UTit)! na-D 
af, ocuf Connacxa; ociif iio Inn^ie-D CUiotii mic lloi)' 
leif, ociif Clumn peiaca OtienOTiiT), ociif Loqia, ocu]^ 
'Ciji T)á ^lctf, octif Inif, ociip cella *t)e]\j;T)e^ic 
aiiceiuc ; ocuy ^Y anv noheyei) Orct ben Tiiji^e)^ a 
lui]iicli cqi al~oiii Cliiaiict mic Moiy. 'Cucj^crc, imo]v 
110, Coniiacua ccrc 'ooib thj in 'op.ocOT]! maelT)inii mac 
Til 11 1 ]r<:,^ yya |ii t;'Dom n a Con n acr. 

XII. Tancoraii laiiyin .11. lon^a ocii^ ~]u picio, coji 
j;abfcrc inTlnblinT) CCm Cliar, ocii]' 110 hinpe-D laj;iii 
CO yia]xg) leo, ocnv TTlaj; mOiieg. 'Cncfa'D, -ona, "Dail- 
liéra ca€ ele -Doib, t)1i in-oiiocaiii G-ogaii mac Oen^uffa 
l^i T)alf.i-ai. 

foretold by Ciaran: see App. A., p. 
225-6 ; it is evident, however, that 
Ciaran of Clonmacnois must have been 
intended: for it was he, not Ciaran, 
surnamed the 01d,Avho was insulted by 
King Diarmaid at Tailltin or Teltown. 
Old Ciaran (of Saigher) is said to 
have lived before the coming of St. 

1 Saigher. The original reading may 
have been ya\^, "the sage," which was 
mistaken by copyists for -pai^ifie, "of 

* To Erinn, These words, necessary 
to the metre, are supplied from L. 
and li. 

3 Should he. Co fa r^u, L. Co 
ba T,\x\^ B. These are differences of 
spelling only. 

^ And now. This paragrnph to tlic 

end of the chap, is omitted in L. For 
t:\x-\ cancana -pin, B. reads, ciiricaii- 
ra, " prophecies." The clause within 
brackets is supplied from B., but is 

^' Turgeis. The words within brack- 
ets in the Irish are substituted from 
B. for the words in D — ia-p,pin TTtiyx- 
jei-p CO hCCyiT) Tilacct, ociip yio eo- 
cene : " Afterwards Turgeis came to 
Ard Macha, and there came a fleet, " &c. 
L. reads, 'Canic lairipccin 'Cniit;eip 
■poyi Loch Ri, " afterwards Turgeis 
came upon Loch Ri,'" which was, most 
probably, the original reading. 

^ By him. B. omits tei-p. 

'' Derg-dheirc : i.e., the churches 
on the islands in Loch Derg-dheirc, 
now Loch Derg. D. has (>ei I lyeyi- 
ceixr. for wliich ceRit •De)i5T)Ci\c, 



" When the bell was i-ung in warm Tailltin, 
Ciaran the Old, the wealthy, of Saigher^' 
Promised [to Erinn^] that three times there should be^ 
Parties of Danars of the black ships." 

And now^ these three predictions came to pass, and 
the prophecies were fulfilled, [as every righteous and true 
saint had foretold]. 

XI. There came [now Tiu-geis,' of Ard Macha, and 
brought] a fleet upon Loch Rai, and from thence plun- 
dered Midhe and Connacht ; and Cluain Mic Nois was 
plundered by him,*^ and Cluain Ferta of Brenann, and 
Lothra, and Tir-dá-gias, and Inis Celtra, and all the 
churches of Derg-dheirc," in like manner ; and the place 
where Ota,^ the ^yife of Turgeis, used to give her audience 
was upon the altar of Cluain Mic Nois. The Connacht- 
men, however, gave them battle, in which Maelduin, son 
of Muirghes, royal heir apparent of Connacht, was slain. 

XII. After this^ came three score and five ships, and 
landed'" at Dubhlinu of Athcliath, and Laghin was plun- 
dered to the sea by them, and Slagh Bregh. But the 
Dal Riada^^ met them in another battle, in which was 
slain Eoghan,'^ son of Oengus, king of Dal Riada. 

Loch Eee, 
and plun- 
ders the 
of Meath 
and Con- 
A.D. 838- 

Invasion of 
Dublin and 

the reading of L. and B., has been 
substituted. B. omits ap.cena. 

«Oia. B. has Otur, and L. Otta. 
For a h-uyiicl/i, " her audience," L. 
and B. read, a •pi'^ecayvcb a, "the 
place where she used to give her an- 

^ After this,, omitted in 
B., but the word occurs in L. 

^oAnd landed. L. omitscoifisabi'^cn;, 
and reads, co "Oublin-D, " to Dub- 
linn," &c. D. reads, 111(15 'mT'-^b' ^°^ 
which the more correct spelling of B. 
has been substituted. 

11 TheJDal Riada. L. reads, "Cuc- 
vax, TXiiyx-iaTim each -oon toiigiy' 
rein, " the Dalriadans gave battle to 
this fleet." B. agrees with D., omit- 

ting only the word ele, "another." 
L. adds here the following note, which 
does not occur in the other MSS. : — 
Uai-p, ^.a cuacafi lam cteyii 
h&YieiTD pa chuait) a|^ mitliu'D 
Logen ocuy^ ^V-^'S ■ " Afterwards 
many of the clergj^ of Erinn went to 
the north after the plundering of Laigin 
and Bregh." — See App. A., p. 226. 

1- Eoghan. In L. and B. he is more 
correctly called Eoghanan, son of 
Oenghus. He was the 31st king of 
the Dalriadans of Scotland, according 
to O'Flaherty. Ogygia, p. 481. L. 
gives the tribe name in the nom. 
"Daliiiacai, gen. "Dailfiiorai. B. 
gives the nom. T)aliT.iaT>a, and gen. 
"Dailfiia-Da ; making the inflexion 


co^cc"dTi scceT)Viel ne ^allccibii. 

neoiis inva- 
sions in 
places of 

of Armagh, 
carried off, 
A.D. 845. 

taken and 
A.D. 845. 

The battle 
of Roscrea, 
A.D. 845. 

XIII. 'Came iqifiii 7:ola Tnti|ibiiiiCT:a mofi T)Ii ^ctl- 
laib 11111 ©]iinT), CO nac ^aabi a)]ro imiT^i can lon^ef. 
If leofiT)e T)o hayi^eaT) Ojii^obaiTD, ocuf ^lo maiiba-D 
Dpeffac mac ITlecill. Ro ^ab, «in, lon^ef i^Ciaii- 
l^aip Luaqia, ocuf |io hinyieT) leo co Cill 1t:i, ocuf 
CO Cuil Onnii, ocuf p,o hiiip.eT), c|ia, |ie longef Luininis 
■rnai'iT:ini na munian, octif ^uicfaT; "Pa^annaii coniai\ba 
CCiiTDa ITIaca o CUiani CoinaiiiT)! co LniTiiiieac, ocuf ^lo 
bjUffi'Da)! j^cpin paDp^aic 

XIV. 1ifi pn blia-oani ^lo ^abax» 'Cuii^eif \ie ITlael- 
feclainn, ocnp jio bairea-o ut^f in i Loc tiaif .i. in 
blia-oain ^\éinbauti'D Tleill Cailli fin, ocuf niDafa 
bliaTiain fe nee Ipe'Dleme'Da niic CfimrhainT), ocuf if 
fe femif na -oeiffi fin -DOfonaii: na ^níina fin iili. 
Ocuf af inafbaT) 'Cuf^eif, inioffo, 'doIuit) "Pafannctn 
abb CCfDamaca afin ITltimam [co CCfDmaca], oetif fo 
-oain^niceT) fcfin paDfaic leif. 

XV. 1n blia-oain, -Dna, fo ^abaix) papanan ociif 
fo bfifCT) fcfin pa-Dfaic, cctif fo hinfe-o cella 
muiiian, If an-D fin ranecrcaf [Sctill] co Rof Cfe-oa, 
la fell poll ocuf pe-oaif, ociif inr; aenac innilln 
anx) ; ocuf ciicaT» cau -noib, ociif f o niiiiD fof ^allaib 
-fia fao IJoil ocuf pe^aif, ociif fo niafbait; co -oi- 
aifiTiia anT) ; ocuf fo biialex» Onjjile lafla ant» tdo 

in T)al. The readings of the text, 
which are from D., seem iingram- 
matical, "Dciilifieca, in the nom., and 
T)al-|riix;ai, in the gen. 

^Sea-cast floods. Ví]xi'(ú>\ivicva, 
lit. "sea-belched," or "vomited;" a 
participle. 'Oola, floods. 

2 Into Erinn. L. has i muiiiain, 
" into ISIunster," which is probably the 
true reading. 

3 Thereof: i.e., of Munster, if the adopted. B. reads, oi yiT) 
in G-|fiinn, "not a pouit in Erinn." 

* Mecliill. B. reads, T^lfiefi^acli 
mac nieiTficill, " Tressach, son of 
JVIeircill." L. omits this notice of the 

plundering of Brigobhann, orBrigown, 
and the death of Tressach, a personage 
who is not mentioned in the Irish 

^Martini. Vi'\a^.thm, L. TDaiYl- 
nne, B. 

^ Ard Macha. L. reads, Coma|\ba 
Pauyiaic ó CUioin Comct1^'Da leo: 
"The comharba," [or successor] "of 
Patrick, from Cluain Comharda, with 
them." B. hasComa|xbaphaciaaicc 
o CUimn Comaiica. 

" This year: i.e., the same year in 
which Forannan was captured, and 
Patrick's shrine broken. D. reads yio 
gab 'Cu1^5e1f, which does not make 




XIII. After this there came great sea-cast floods^ of Simulta- 
foreigners into Erinn,- so that there was not a point Jo°"Yn^^' 
thereoF without a fleet. It was by these that Bri- various 
Gobhann was phindered, and Tressach, son of ]Mecliill* MimTt^ 
killed. A fleet came to Ciarraighe Luachra, and all was 
plundered by them to Gill Ita and Guil Emhni ; and the 
Martini' of Mumhain were plundered by the fleet of 
Luimnech, who carried off" Farannan, Gomharba of Ard Farannan, 
Macha,'' from Cluain Comairdi to Luimneach, and they p^^^lg^^^^j^' 
broke Patrick's shrine. a.d. 845.' 

XIV. It was in tliis year^ Turgeis was taken prisoner Turgeis 
by Maelsechlainn ; and he was afterwards di'ovvrned in \^^^^ ^"^ 

T 1 FT • « • ji If T drowned, 

Loch Uair,'' viz., the year beiore the drowmng of Mall A.D. 845. 
Cailli, and the second year before the death of Fedh- 
Kmidh, son of Grimhthann ; and it was in^ the time of 
these two that all these events^*' took place. Now, when 
Tm-geis was killed, Farannan, abbot of Ard Macha, went 
out of Mumhain^ ^ [to Ai'd Macha], and the shrine of 
Patrick was repaired ^^ by him. 

XV. Now the same year in which Farannan was taken The battle 
prisoner/^ the shrine of Patrick broken, and the chm-ches f i'f^^f-^ 
of Mumhain plundered, [the foreigners] came to Ros 
Creda^* on the festival of Paul and Peter, when the fair 

had beg-un ; and they were given battle, and the foreign- 
ers were defeated through the grace of Paul and Peter, 
and countless numbers^^ of them were killed there ; and 
Earl Onphile^^ was struck there with a stone by which 

sense. The reading of B. is sub- 

8 Loch Uair. III.OC ^uaiiT., B. 

3 And it was in. This clause is 
omitted in L. 

10 Events. 11 a gniOTiiixa'oct, B. 

11 Out of Mumhain. \lo euaiT», B., 
"to the north." The words " to Ard 
Macha" are inserted from L. 

'^-ReiKiired. Le^^aigeT), L. T)ain- 
giníéea'D, B. 

1^ Tahen 2>risoner. Ho gaBat), B. 
This repetition of the events of the 

year does not occur in L., where we 
read only 'Ccmga'Dafi -oiia 
■Ro]Yci"ie pn blia-oam -peo, "the 
foreigners came to Eoscrea this year." 
11 Jios Creda. iloyYep.e, L. 'Ror- 
ciie, B., and in c. xvii., p. 16. The 
word gait?., is added from L. 

15 Countless numbers. Co 'Diain- 
niící, lit. " innumerabOiter." Co 
lic(n5ail icTD, B., "they were slain 

16 Onphile. Oilpn, B. Oilpinn, 
Keating (p. 636). 


co^ccT)li ^cce"otiel ne '^ccllccibti. 

on the 
in Bregia, 
Meath, &c. 

A great 
fleet lands 
south of 
Dublin ; 
their ra- 
vages in 

Invasion of 
the south 
of Ireland. 

cloic, CO]! iTiai"ib "oe é. nio]i, T)n«, duIc ociif T)iin- 
niiTD "piiaiiaT)cqi octiv VV-^^' iiarib, ifna 1)liaT)iiail5 i^m, 
nac 1 n 111 f ceil ezA\i. 

XVI. "Came i n lon^ef q\i picir; lon^ "do 11 of- 
maiToaib pof Oooiitd, ocuf ]\o ^)^]^^^- Oiie|;a leo, octif 
ITliT)!. 'Ccmic loiigef [cnle] coyi ^ab pop Loc Gcach, ocuf 
110 biriiie-D leofiT>e co hCCiiT) TTIaca. 'Came loii^ef ele 
eoja ^abfi-De poji abainT) Lipi, oetip f-o Innpex) nia^ 
mOpe^ leo, eroiji ouaii; ociip cill. 

XVII. 'Came ia]i)>iii lon^ef aT)biil mop ni 'oepenipr; 
Liza Cliar, oeiip po TnnpeT) leo iipmop GpeiTo ; ocup 
po hinpfi) leo am 1 Colmm Cilli, ocup Imp TTImpeoe, 
oeup TJaimnrp, octq' "^leiTo 7)a Laca, ocup Lct^m uli 
CO hCCcuT>ii|i, ocup CO liCCciiTibo, ocup co Liai; VHo- 
caemoc, ocup co "Oaipe mop, ocup co Cluain "Pepxa 
Ulolua, ocup CO Hop Cpe, ocu]' co Loi;pa, co ]\o bpipez^ap 
pcpin Rua'oaii, ocup co po millpet: Cluain Dlic lloip, 
[ocup CO Sai;;ip], ocup co T)upmai5. 

XVIII. 'Came lappni longep in 'Depciupt: GiienT) co 
hinpipeo Scellej; IHicil, ocup Imp ■plaint), ocup "Dipepr; 
T)omcnn, ocup Cluain Til op, cop mapbpccDap UuT)5aile 
mac Cpebt-aT)i ocup Copmac mac ^elbaig ancaip. 

1 Killed. L. inserts here the follow- 
ing passage, which is not found in 
the other MSS., Oa g^iemct "D'^eyiftilj 
muiiiam inci"iopcu-D'Dui\oiipac-)ia 
PoLipixapecuyimn aTOcheyieime. 
See Appendix A. This seems like a 
marginal note inserted by the trans- 
criber in the text. 

2 Not 1-ecorded. The text of B. is 
here adopted. D. reads, i|-> nci bl.ic(t)- 
nail3, -noneoc nac inmpcep, eci^i. 
L. differs from both. See Appendix 

8 A fleet. D. reads, \,ow^ x:,\\^ picic 
long, an evident mistake of transcrip- 
tion. The reading of B. is preferred. 
L. reads, Longep aT)bui ^^^o\\, " a 
very great fleet," without mentioning 
the number of ships. 

■• Another. OCiie is added from L. 
ele, B. 

" Loch Echvch . Iv 'cIi Eachdhach, B. 
Loch Nethach, L. B. omits coyi gab, 
"settled." L. reads, cop. jxajaib. 

6 To Ard Macha. L. adds, "and 
Ard Macha itself M^as burned and 
plundered by them." 

'' And settled. L. and B. omit coYi 
5;ubpiT)e. B. reads, ocup i\o bm- 
■oyiCT) leo nuts iiibyiegh uile ev\\i 
cellaocupctmca: "AllMagh Bregh 
was plundered by tliem, both churches 
and eountri'." L. reads, "Magh Lai- 
ghen and Magh Bregh were plundered 
by them, both country and ciiurches." 

^Very great. L. omits iap,pin, "after 
that," and ODbul moil, "very great," 
and reads "the fleet that was with 



he was killed.' Much, indeed, of evil and distress did 
they receive, and much was received from them in those 
years, which is not recorded^ at all. 

XVI. There came after that a fleet^ of three score 
ships of the Northmen upon the Boinu ; and Bregia and 
Midhe were plundered by them. [Another''] fleet came 
and settled on Loch Echach,^ and these plundered all 
before them to Ard-Macha.'' Another fleet came and 
settled'' on the liver of Liffe, and Magh Bregh was plun- 
dered by them, both country and churches. 

XVII. There came after that a very great^ fleet into 
the south'-* of Ath-Cliath, and the greater part of Erinn was 
plundered by them ; they plundered, also. Hi of Colum 
Cnie,'" and Inis «Muireoc," and Damhinis, and Glenn da 
Loclia, and the whole of Laighin, as far as to Achadh Ur, 
and to Achadh B6, and to Liath Mocaemhoc,'^ and to 
Daire-m6r,'^ and to Cluain Ferta Molua, and to Ros Ore, 
and to Lothra, where they broke the shrine of Ruadhan, 
and they spoiled Cluain Mic Nois, [and as far as Saighir,''*] 
and on to Durmliagh. 

XVIII. There came after that a fleet' ^ into the south of 
Erinn, and they plundered"^ SceUig IVIichil, and Inis 
Flainn,'^ and Disert Domhain,'* and Cluain Mor, and 
they killed Rudgaile,'^ son of Trebtade, and Cormac, 

on the 
in Bregia, 
Meath, &c. 

A great 
fleet lands 
south of 
Dublin ; 
their ra- 
vages in 

Invasion of 
the south 
of Ireland. 

them went at once." T3anic "ona 
tongey^ ba Lia aiTDay^aTDe. 

' Tlie south. L. and B. omitiTroer- 

w //; of Colum Cille. \\S Colaiin 
CiUi, L., B. 

11 Inis Muireoc. A corrupt spelling : 
more correctly 1ni|^ mii)XiT)aij:;, L., 
and in modem spelling, Ini-p llluiix- 
ea-DCtij, B. 

12 Liath Mocaemhoc. D. reads, 111 o- 
nemoc, which is evidently a mistake. 
The reading of L. and B. has been 
adopted in the text. 

13 Baire-mSr. D. reads, co TiCCtXT)- 
mori; but the reading of L. and B. has 

as being evidently 

been substituted, 

11 Saighir. The words ocur co 
Sctijiix are added from L. and B. 

I'' Fleet. L. reads Loiije]" o Luim- 
niuc, "a fleet from Limericli." 

16 Plundered. 5u)\ 1Tlll,l•pecul^ 
ocu-p 5U1X inT)iacn-«i\, B., "they spoiled 
and they plundered." 

1" Inis Flainn. Inis Faithlend, L., B.: 
now Inisfallen, in the Lower Lake of 

'8 Disert Domhain. Disert Don- 
nain, L. Disert Damhain, B. 

^^ Rudyaile. L. reads, "Rudgaile, 
son of Trebhtaidhe, and Cormac, sOfl 
of Selbach, the anchorite." 


cosccdTi ^cceT)íiel ne ^ccllccibli. 

Battle of 



The fleet of 






The Black 
with the 
Fair Gen- 
tiles, A.D. 

ociif if T)oi^i'De 110 oplcdc anneal -po z\i^ ocuf ^lOf 
ceii^laf cac um\i. Ocuf 110 liniiieT), "oncc, leo Coiicac, 
ocu]^ 110 lofce-D PtOf CCibqn, ociif CeiiT) ITIcqia, ociif 
ir|imoii mil 111 cm, ocuy [ouccfcrc ITlinncc ITIe'Donac ccrc 
T)Oit)] 1^0 ciiiie-o a nqi ic CC\íT) pecqia'Dcti^. Tucfau, 
TDiicc, Defcefx OjieiTD ccrc 'ooibfi'De, ocuf T)oncaT) mac 
CCmal^aDa yS^ e-oganctcc iia ileiu, ociif -Diiocaiii Clocnct 
I1Í5 Coiicalai^i leo ccitd. 

XIX. Uo hiniie-D leo, T)iia, Cell *Oqicf, ociif Cluam 
ODiieach, ociif CeiTO Gt;!^, ociif Cell CCceT> la lon^ef 
CCra Clurc pof ; octif -jio ro^laT) "Oun TTIafc .1. vu in 
'Diiocai]! CCex» mac "Dmb-Dacinc, coma^iba CoUnm mic 
C'lumranTD ocuf piiTOoani Cliiana Ot)iii5. Ocnp 110 
liirip-eT» leo, "ona, Ceiianmif, ocuf 1TlanifT;ip. Oii-i, ocui^ 
"Damliac Cianan, ocni"' So]vd Coluim C1II1, ocuf "Phtd- 
^laf Caiiini^; ocirp ^-o lofccT) fin uli leo ociif ^lo 
Inn I'll-. 

XX. 'Canca'Da|i Kqifin "Dtiib^einT;! *DanaiiT)a, ocuf 110 
laefer; po OprnD, ociif 'oa baDa^i ic DUiciqi na pn-o- 
^enoi a hGpnt), ocuf vucycfx: cac, ociif tdo ma^ibi^ao .u. 
mill Dono pngennb ic §nani G-ii^Da. 'Came laiivin 
lon^ef ele fio ^ab iCiafif-ct^i, ociif iw hmiie-o leo co 
Lumnec, octif Cell 1ci, ocuf Imleac Ibai^i, ocuf Caffel 

1 The anchorite. CCtichoiaa, L,, 
CCnjcaiTxe naeni, B., "the holy an- 

2 Every time, 'gac tae, B., "every 
day." L. reads, ^xa íio|^Laic aiigeL 
po "01, ocu-p ^of cei'iglaicip na gailí^ 
cac nuailfii: "The angel set him 
loose twice, and the foreigners used to 
bind him every time." 

2 They hurned. CoiVge'D teo, B., 
" was burned by them." 

* Cenn Mara. L. adds, ocu-p CCcat). 

^ Mumha Medhonach : i.e., the men 
of Middle Jlimster. The words within 
brackets in the text are inserted from 

6 Ard Feradaigh. B. reads, Carn 
Fearadaigh, which is also the reading 

of the Four M. L. has CCifiTi Pep-ca, 


'' Under. D. reads, ocup T)oiinca'D, 
" and Donnchad." The reading of B. 
is preferred. 

s Ua Neit. An error for 11 a tl eic, or 
l1anC'oc'hac'h(seep. 137). li-necac, 
L. Ocu-ptlanGchacli, B., "andof Ua 
nEchach." The word and is a mistake. 
The meaning is, that Donnchadh, son of 
Amhalghaidh [_2^7'on. Awley] was king 
of the Eoghanacht Ua nEochach, that 
is of those Eoghanachts, or descendants 
of Eoghan Mor (son of Oilioll Olum, 
king of Munster,) who were also de- 
scendants of Eochaidh, son of Cas, 
son of Core, king of Munster. See 
Gen. Table, IV., p. 248, and Table of 



son of Selbach, the anchorite/ and he it was whom the 
angel set loose three times, though he was bound again 
every time.^ Moreover, Corcach was plundered by them, 
and they burned^ Ros Ailithri and Cemi Mara,* and the 
greater part of Mumhan ; but [the Mumha Medhonach^ 
gave them battle and] their slaughter was completed at 
Ai'd Feradaigh.*" The south of Eriiin also gave them battle Battle of 
under^ Donnchadh, son of Amhalgaidh, king of the Eogan- P^i'^f; 
acht Ua Neit,* and Clochna,^ king of Corca Laiffhe, was 
killed by them there. 

XIX. Cell Dara, also, and Cluain Eidhneach, and Cenn The fleet of 
Etigh, and Cell Ached were plundered by them, that is, ^j^njlg^s 
by the fleet of Ath Cliath ; and Dun Masc was demolished, Kiidare, 
where fell Aedh, son of Dubh-da-Crich, Comharba of ^[^"""'^^s^' 
Colum Mac Crimhthaimi, and of Finntan of Cluain Ed- 

neach. They also^" plundered Cennannas, and Mainis- 
ter-Buite, and Damhliac-Cianan, and Sord-Coluim-Cille 
and Finnghlas-Cainnigh ; and all these were burned by 
them and plundered. 

XX. There came after this Black-gentile Danars, and The Black 
they spread^ ^ themselves over Erinn, and they endeavoured ^"^^t^^®^ 
to ch'ive the Fair-gentiles out of Erinn ; and they enofaefed'^ with the 
in battle, and they killed five thousand of the Fair-gentiles ^jfj^ ]^^ 
at Snamh Ergda'^. After that another fleet came and 851. 
landed in CiaiTaighe, ' * and all was plundered by them to 
Luimnech, and Cill-Ita; and Imleach-Ibhair, and Caisel 

the Descendants of Oilioll Ohim, Batlle 
of Magh Puitk, p. 341. L. adds, .1. 
acCoyicais yio inayiba'D: 'Saz., it 
was at Corcach he was killed." 

9 Clockna. L. omits all notice of 
the death of Clochna. 

^'^ Also. For the expletive nwa, B. 
reads, cena, "in like manner." L. 
omits the mention of Finntan of Cluain 
Edneach, and all that follows, as far as 
theword Cenaniiu'p, and instead reads, 
Rucy^a'D t&o 1 m Til u main ocu]^ p,a- 
pia ociafiTfiaTo pua-plaicci 

pmift ocuy^ i-ppet) nac puaifi. Ua 

Ut lon5e|" oca cliac ocuy» 

maini^ciia buci, etc. Some words 
are illegible. See Appendix A. 

11 Spread. Ro leacacaifi, B. 

12 Engaged. "Cucc-pac vein cac -oa 
ceil.e, B., "they engaged in battle 
with each other." 

13 Snamh Ergda. Snamh Oengusa, 
B. Snamh Eidhneach, FourM. (A.D. 
850). Snamh Aidhneach, Ann. Ult. 
(A.D. 851). Snain OCignec, L. 

1* Ciarraighe. B. reads "Cainic la^a- 



co^ccoti ^cce'Dliel ne sccllmbTi. 

by the 

Battle of 
A.D. 847. 

other de- 
feats sus- 
tained by 

na jií^, 0CI11'' aiiiejiT» Cerq^a151, ocuf ucrc Tlloccfemoc. 
1 iiemif pe-Dleine'Da mic CTfiimraiTiT) -do iioiicti- uli na 
ha|\T;iii fill. 

XXI. in Of, 'oncc, "DO -DUCiT» [ociif 750 Docaf] puafatiaf 
ffifin femif fin. Ro bfife'oaf am Cenel Conaill cat 
fOffro ic CCef RuaiT). T)a bfife-oaf T)ail Caiff cab 
ele foffu fof Loc "DeifCDeifc. X>a bfiferaf 11a Weill, 
cab ele ic CCfo Ofecan. Ho mafbfaraf, Tin a, 11 Cbol- 
^an Saxulb ucfla. "Do fain Olcnbiif mac CineT)a fig 
Cai^fil, ociif Lofcan mac Cellai^ fi La^en cai; Sce:v 
llecram fOffU, du i T)focaif T:anaiffi fi LoclanT), ociif 
'oa cer; 'Dec T)0 maii;ib Loclan-D timi. Ho oo^lai^, "ona, 
Olcubuf cérna i Tnlai^ na Hipia fOfT:hi), vu 1 "Dfo- 
caif focaiT)! ; ociif fo mafb Leb TTlosa lib Krc. 

XXII. Ho bfif rfa ITIaelfeclamn fi "Cemfac cab 
Caflen ^linni poffxiii, "du i -DfocfaDaf .iin. ce-. Ho 
bfif, T)na, 'Ci^efnas cab [foffa] ic *Oaifi "DifiiifT: 
T)aconna, vu i T)focfaT)af .u. cei:. Ho bfif, 'ona, Olcn- 
biif cerna, ocnf Co^anaci: Caffil cab f0fT:n ic T)nn 
TTIaelT^nli vu i 'Dfocfa'oaf -Da peer: véc. T)focfa'Daf, 
vna, r;fi cer; .Ix.iini. la pn-D^enoi. "Dfocfa-Daf va 

fin tonsef ele j:;tifi jaB Tii cClCfl^- 
■)aai5e : " After that came another 
fleet, and landed in Ciarraighe." 

1 Mocoemhoc. Tllonaemoc, D. The 
reading of L. and B. is preferred. See 
p. 17, note 12. 

2 In the 7-ei[/n. B. reads, ocuf if 
Ifte Yieimif Pei'Dlimi'D mic CiT-ioiii- 
caniT) "DO yionca uile na posUt fin : 
" And it was in the reign of Feidhli- 
midh, son of Criomhthann, tliat all 
these inroads were made." L. has, in 
ainifiixf ei'olimi'DmicCYiinicbainn 
"oa yionctic na liuilc fin : " In the 
time of Feidhlimidh, son of Crimh- 
thann, these evils were committed." 

s And damar/e. The words ocuf no 
'DOcaiT, are inserted from B., which MS. 
reads also pvlalflacal^ y^\i e"i^enn 

pfiif an yie fin, " did the men of 
Ireland suffer during that time." The 
text, on the contran,', states that the 
foreigners suffered toil and damage; 
and proceeds to describe the defeats 
sustained by them. 

■* Em-l Saxulb. Raalb lap-ta, L., 
" Earl Ralph." 

s Heir. In the original canaifci 
or Tanist. The Four M. name him 
Tomrar, or Tomh-air (A.D. 846). 
Bomrair, Ann. Ult. (A.D. 847). 
B. omits -oa cec "oec "do maicib 
LocLann, " twelve hundred of the 
nobles of Lochlann ;" but these words 
occur in the Four M. In the next line 
B. reads incOlcobayi cecna, which 
seems more correct, although the mean- 
ing is the same. 

•i Tulach-na-Rigna. Literally, " in 



of the Kings, and the eastern Cethtraighi ; and Liath 
Mocoemhoc' It was in the reign^ of Feidlimidh, son of 
Crimhthann, that all these ravages were pei^Detrated. 

XXI. Much of toil [and damage^] did they suffer 
dming that period. The Cenel ConaiU defeated them in 
a battle at Eas Ruaidh. The Dal Cais defeated them 
in another battle on Loch Deircdeh-c. The Ui NeiU 
defeated them in another battle at Ai'd Brecain. The Ui 
Colgan kiUed Earl Saxulb.^ Olchobhar, son of Cinaedh, 
king of Caisel, and Lorcan, son of CeUach, king of Laighen, 
defeated them in the battle of Sciath Nechtain, where the 
heii-' of the king of Lochlainn fell, and twelve hundred 
of the nobles of Lochlainn along with him. The same 
Olchobhar demolished Tulach-na-EigTia^ acrainst them, 
where niimbers of them were killed ; and Leth Moo-ha^ 
killed all of them. 

XXII. Maelsechlainn, also, kin g; of Temhar, defeated 
them in the battle of Caislen-Glinni,* where seven hundred 
were killed. Tighemagh, too, defeated [them] in a battle 
at Daii-e-Disim-t-Dachonna,^ where five hmidred'° fell. 
The aforesaid Olchobhar, ^^ and the Eoghanachts of Caisel, 
defeated them in a battle at Dun-Maeltuli,^^ where twelve 
score ^^ fell. There feU, also, thi-ee himdred and sixty- 
eight'"* by the Fair-gentiles. Two hundi-ed of them fell 

by the 

Battle of 
A.D. 8i7. 

other de- 
feats sus- 
tained by 

Tidach-na-Rigna :" but B. omits i, 
"in," and reads, 'Cutac na Risna, 
more correctly. 

'' Leth Mogha : i.e., the people Of 
Leth Mogha. B. reads y^o mafibcCD 
ilLeirh ITlojha uil/e lax», '' they were 
killed in Leth Jilogha all of them." 

8 Caislen-glinni. CaTT-sLinne, B. 
'glaiy^i.inne, Keating, p. 591 ; but, 
p. 602, he mentions also a battle of 
CaisgUnne. B. says that 710 -were 
slain in this battle, x>xi i rcoyicaiix 
■pecc ccéT) .X. Keating gives the 
same number; the text is supported 

9 Daire-Dhiuri-Dachonna. Disiurt 
Daconna, B. The word within paren- 

theses in the text is inserted from B. 
and L. 

1" Five hundred. *Da picec .x. B. 
Keating, and Four M. (A.D. 846), 
" twelve score." T)a cec "oeg, Ann. 
Ult. (A.D. 847), "twelve hundred." 

1^ Olchobhar. CCn c-OlxolJaix cec- 
na, B. 

12 Dun MaeltuU. Tliis name is omit- 
ted in B. Dim Mael, L. 

13 Twelve score. Cuicc cex), B. L. 
" five hundred ;" and the same number 
is given, Foitr M., A.D. 846, Ann. 
Ult., A.D. 847. 

1* Three hundred and sixty-eight : 
ccc.txxuin, L. Ceac|^a^^ ctyi ryii 
piccio a\\ cfii ce-Daib la Tiu pTÓ- 


cosccTíli scceT)tiel tie ^allccibti. 

Arrival of 
■with a pro- 
fleet, A.D. 

Arrival of 
Ossil, and 
his defeat. 

ceT) T)ib fie Cianact; ic 1nif piinnc; ociif iT)fiocp.aT)a|i, 
T)iia, t;|ii cei: "Dib pof \ie Cictiiacra i ciitd mif lajifin ic 
Ráic CClraii. Ro b|iif, v)^a, IDaelfeclciinn ccrc ele 
poiiru ic Raié ConiTTiaiii. PvO bpifi'Dap, T)iia, Ciafii^ai^i 
Liiaqia car ele 'pojirii. 

XXIII. 'Came ia]a i^in CCmlaib [inac] \i^ LoclaiiT) 
ocuf lotigef a-obul mop. leif .1. 'oec m-blia-Dna a|itiec 
Triailfeclainn, 5011 ^ab 11151 ^all OpenT), ociif if leif 
\iO hatev Conctibaii mac X)onca'Da yii^'Domiia "Cemiiac. 
If leofi'De fo fonaT» cai Cluana T)aim poff na "Oefi, 
"Dii 1 'Ofocaii'i'Dap. mari na T)ep iili. 1p leo |ioma|i- 
ba-D mac CiTTDpaeUfo ^15 mufcp-ai^i Ofeosain, ocuf 
|io mucaT) Tnuc-oaisfieii mac ReaCTabfar; in niiaim. 
If leo fo mafba-D Caeoil pinx) lin a lon^puift:. If 
leo fo mafbaT) ITIaelguala mac "Dun^aile fig Caff il, 
.1. a 'Dfuim va bfifCT) im cloic. Cit> v^a aci: iDfocfa- 
•DOf fin mil fof IC fefaib TTluman .1. Ona ociif Scolph, 
octif "Comaf, reopa octif ceT). 

XXIV. T^amc lapfin Of fill mac fig LoclanT), lon^ef 
ele, octif fo hiiifeT) upmof e-fenx) leo. 'Dfocfa'Daf 

geinnci, B., i.e., " 364: by the Ui Fidh- 

1 Inis Finmic. 1tii|^ f imDmaic, L. 
In If f iiTomec, B. 

^ Rath Altan. Raic CClTDam, L. 
Roc CCll/Ctn, B. 

3 Ten years after. 8111 "060111 at) 
blia-oain yienec tllael/peclainn, L., 
" in the tenth year before the death 
of Maelsechlainn," [i.e., before 863.] 
O'Flah. Ogyg. p. 434. This seems the 
correct reading, and is followed by the 
Four M., 851, and by the Ann. Ult. 
852 (=853). These Annals agree 
also with L. in calling this chieftain 
mac Yiij; Lochiann, "son of the king 
of Lochlainn ;"not "king of Lochlainn," 
as in B. and D. See Appendix A., and 
chap. XXX., infra., where the MSS. B. 
and D. themselves, call this Amlaibh, 
" son of the king of Lochlainn." The 

word m ac has, therefore, been inserted 
within brackets in the text. Keating 
says that Anihlaibh arrived "about the 
time when Olcobhar, king of IMunster, 
died ;" an event which the Four SI. date 
849 (=852). 

* S<m. ofDonncliad. ITI ac CinaeT>a, 
B. TTlac "Donnca'óa lecyii TniT)e, 
Ann. Ult. 863 ; Four M. 862. 

5 Cluain-Daimh. 1r> Leif in l/Oiige-p 
fain fio memaiT) each cluana 
■Daim, L., "it was by this fleet was 
gained the battle of Cluain-daimh, &c." 
Ocuy^ i-p leiy^ i^o -paameT) cadi, yc, 
B. : " And it was by them was won the 
battle, &c." D. reads cac clun-oam, 
but for this, caé cluana ■oaitn has 
been substituted in the text, on the 
authority of L. and B. 

6 Was suffocated. For yio iniicaT), 
" was suffocated," (the reading of L. 



by the Cianachta at Inis-FiTimic' ; and there fell, too, 
tliree hundred more of them by the Cianachta m a month 
after that, at Rath-Altan.^ Maelsechlainn gained another 
victory over them at Rath-Corn niah\ The Ciarraighi Lu- 
aclu-a also gained another \dctory over them. 

XXIII. After that came Amlaibh, [son of] the king of Arrival of 
Loclúainn, with a prodigious fleet, i.e., ten years after^ the ^th^a pro- 
death of Maelsechlainn, and he assumed the sovereigntv digio^s 

fleet A.D. 

of the Gaill of Erinn ; and it was by him that Conchobhar, 853/ 
son of Donnchad,* heir apparent of Temhair, was drowned. 
It was by them the Desi were overthrown in the battle 
of Cluain-Daimh,^ where aU the nobles of the Desi fell. 
It was by them the son of Cennfaeladh, king of Muscraighe- 
Breoghain, was kiUed, and Muchdaigliren, son of Reachta- 
brat, was suífbcated'' in a cave. It was by them Caetil 
Find^ was killed, with his whole garrison. It was by 
them Maelguala, son of Dungaile, king of Caisel, was killed : 
i.e., his back was broken by a stone. However, they were 
all killed by the men of Mumham,® i.e., Ona, and Scolph, 
and Tomar, an hundred and three. ^ 

XXIV. There came after that OssiU,"' son of the Arrival of 
king of Lochlainn, with another fleet, and the greater yf defeat, 
part of Erinn was plundered by them. These, too, fell by 

and D.) B. reads, ocuy^ ^xe illuia- 
cTia-oTi mac Tnucrigefin inic Rea- 
ccabfia 1 llluriiain : meaning that 
Cennfaeladh vras killed by the Loch- 
lainns, " and by Murchadh, son of 
Muchtighem, son of Eeachtabra, in 
Munster.'- Over the -words i niu- 
rham, "in Munster," a later hand has 
■written veh m uuiiii, " or in a cave." 
The text is undoubtedly the true read- 
ing. L. has y.a mucat) muccisei^n 
[mac] Recrabyxcro in uaim. See 
Appendix A. 

7 Caetil Find. Catah Piitd, B. 
Cauii VmT), L. 

8 J/e« o/ Mumhain. Ra pi^xu 

hC-f.enn, oca-y na roe-j-^ij; y^et), L. : 
" By the men of Erinn, and also their 
leaders," [i.e., their leaders also were 
destroyed by the men of Erinn]. 

9 An hundred and three. The names 
of the leaders are omitted by B. L. 
reads -Scolph, ocu^-- Ona, ocu]^ "Com- 
■p,ai*p., ocu-p TTuixjeir, 7c. It seems 
probable thatyc, "etcetera," and 7.0., 
" and one hundred," were in some way 
confounded, and the name of one of the 
chieftains mistaken for reop,a, "three." 

w OssiJl. Oifli, L. CCuifle, Ann. 
Lit. A.D. 862, 865. Uailp, FourM. 
A.D. 861. Perhaps the name is Vaihi, 
Fahius, or Flosius. 


co^ccDli scce"DÍiel ne sccllccibli. 

and the 
fleet of Dun 




Battle of 
Loch Foyle, 
A.D. 866. 

and Mun- 
ster plun- 
dered by 
Baraid and 
son, with 
the Dublin 

^111 pof la pe^imb Giaen-o. "Djioccciii, am, inrOfil 
ociif .11. cev leif ic peyiaib GiaeiiT) 1 Tllinnain in oen 
lo. If ifin bliaT)aiii i T)iaocai]a Colpin ocuf longef 
T)uiii ITle-DOin 1 Ciitd Ciifiiai^. Ho baf ica maiibaT) o 
Cinx) Cii|i]iai5 CO Lif niof, octip vo 'DfociuiDaii focaiDi 
'Dib .1. la RecrabfaT: mac Ofam. *Da cuaiD, v^^a, 
Oaeébaii]! layila octif focaiDi tdoii Uicr ma-oma leif co 
CCc Cliac. laffin ]\o barex» ic CC-u Cliac z]\e mifibinliT) 
Ciaiiaii ociif CCe-oa Scannail pof a faba-oaf ic poii- 
baiffi. 1if i]^in blKroaiii i -Dfocaif 'Comup, la^la la 
OiaenaiiTD, i ciitd qii la afiiaji^ani Cluana peixt;a -do. 
If if 111 bliaT»ain fo bfif CCet» pniDliai mac IJeill 
caé fofrii IC Loc "Pebail, T)Ii i "oiiocaifDaf "oa cer "dg^ 
ceiTD in oen inaT) Dib, ocu]^ fiic a nuili inmaif ocuf 
a feoDti. 

XXV. Ro hinfir, vna, la bafai-o ocuf la mac CCm- 
laib Lav;in ociif fif ITlnman la lon^ef CCra Cliar; 
coff uacca-Daf Ciafaip, 511 naf facfao tiaim fo mlmain 
anT) ^an cacailr, ocuf nif -pacfoc ni o tiimneic co 
Cofcai^ can infCT), ociif fo lofcfer; 1mlec Ibaif, ocuf 
fo hinfifet: na "Defi 'Dei]^cnifT:. Ro infiT)af, "ona, in 
luce cerna va blia^ain femifin imíT»i ocuf Connacra, 
CO f,ancaT)af. Cof cumfuaT) ociif Leim ConculainT). *Dfo- 

1 This Osdil. B. reads, ocuf cop-- 
caiYi. in cOifil/i. he peyxaib íllu- 
ítiain, ocnf cuicc ce-o teif 1 naen 
to : " And this Ossill fell by the men 
of Munster, and 500 with him in one 
day." L. reads also, ie peixctib tTlu- 
riiain, "by the men of Munster," but 
omits " and 500 hundred wth him in 
one day." 

- CoIpJiiii. Perhaps Golfin. This 
name does not occur in the Annals. 

3 Was continued. Literally, " they 
were in their being killed, from Cenn 
Curraigh to Lis-mor." 

* Uarl Baethharr. B. calls him 
Ocrobctifiix, " Badbarr," omitting the 
title of 1 ayila, or Earl. 

^ Was drowned. B. reads, ocuf "[XO 
bai-DeuT) icrcc occ CCc Clmc, cp.e 
inioifibiiilibh Cmifiain ocuf CCe-oa 
ocuf SccaiToail : " And they were 
drowned at Ath Cliath, by the miracles 
of Ciaran and Aedh and Sgandall." 

6 Twelve hundred heads. "Da ceT) 
'oeg in aen lonaT), B., " twelve 
hundred in one spot." *Da ■picic, L., 
" two score," but the words following 
are illegible in this MS. Keating 
has, go CCU5 ceatixacat) cectnn 
raoifi5 "Diob teif , layi nia|xbaT) na 
ce-D a-p, rmle toclonnac oile no: 
" Forty heads of their cliieftains were 
borne off by him, after he had killed 
1,200 other Lochlaiuns." The Four M. 


the men of Erinn ; and this Ossill, ^ with five hundred 
men along with him, fell by the men of Erinn in Mumhain 
in one day. It was in that year that Colphin,^ and the 
fleet of Dmi Medhom, were destroyed at Cenn CuiTaig. 
And the slaughter of them was continued^ fit'om Cenn 
Curraig to Lis-Mor, and numbers of them were killed by 
Rechtabrat, son of Bran. The Earl Baethbarr/ however, 
escaped with many of the defeated party to Ath Chath. 
Aftemvards he was dro^Tied"" at Ath Cliath, thi'ouoh the 
miracles of Ciaran, and Aedh Scannail, whom they were 
besieging. It was in that year that Earl Tomar was killed 
by St. Brendan, three days after he had plundered Cluain 
Ferta. It was in that year that Aedh Finnliath, son of 
Niall, gained a battle over them at Loch Febhail, where 
there fell twelve himch-ed heads'' of them in one spot ; and 
all their wealth and all their jewels were taken. 

XXV. TlienLaighen and the men of Mumhain were plun- 
dered by Baraid,^ and Amlaibh's son, with the fleet of Ath 
Cliath, * until they reached Ciarraighe^ ; and they left not 
a cave there under ground that they chd not explore"* ; and 
they left nothing from Luimnech to Corcach that they did 
not ravage. And they burned^ ' Imleach Ibhair, and they 
ravaged the southei-n Desi. Tlie same party, two years 
before,^- had ravaged Midlie and Comiacht, imtil they came 

and the 
fleet of Dun 




Battle of 
Loch Fovie, 
A.D. 8GG. 

and Mim- 
ster plun- 
dered by 
Baraid and 
son, w-ith 
the Dublin 

say "twelve score heads," A.D. 864:. 
AÍin. nt. 865. 

1 Baraid. bayiich, L. Oaiifiviir, 
B. bai\ic, Ann. Ult. (A.D. 880). 
bariair, Four M. (A.D. 878). 

8 With the fleet. Leo longep D.. 
a mistake of transcription, for which 
l/a ?X)n5er', the reading of B. and L., 
has been substituted. L. has simply, 
" Laighin and the men of Mumhain 
were plundered by the fleet of Mac 
Amhlaibh :" instead of '' the fleet of 
Ath Cliath," and without any mention 
of Barait in this place. 

9 Ciarraiglie. Cmiiiaaigei^uacyiaB. 
^'^ Explore. Lit. " -Ns-ithout exploring 

it." Can celiac, L., " without explor- 
ing." 'gem laixfioT) octi-p jan co- 
chaitr, B., "without searching and 
without exploring." 

11 The7j burned. B. reads, gan m- 
n^xen ocu'p gan loyvcax) ; ocuy^ lao 
iyOTpccpioc Imleac 1ubaii\, ocuy^ 
■p.0 aiiacc-pioc na "Dei-pi "DeiyTeiac : 
" They left nothing from Limerick to 
Cork that they did not ravage and 
bum : and they biu-ned Imleach Ibhair, 
and spoUed the southern Deisi." Ma 
■De-pi -Depcifxc -08 inui-p., L., "the 
southern Deisi from the sea." 

1- Two years before. Omitted in L. 
D. reads, luc for Uicc 


cobCCDti scceT)1iel \ie sccllccibti. 

A cessation 
of invasions 
for forty 
A.D. 916. 

Hacon and 
take Wa- 

by the 

cai|iT>a|i fin pof la pe^iccib GfeiTO. "Ro cufeT) labium á\i 
afi mac Rct^naill ocuf a^a ^allaib, la h-CCet» mac tleill 
10 in "pleiT) T)0 iionax) "do mac Uct^naill CCra Clior. Ho 
cuiffet; pein cox: et:a|i|io .i. pnDgeinci ocuf Dubgeinci, 
.1. Oaifiic octip mac Ra^naill vu i 'Dfocaiyi mac Ra^- 
naill ociif focaiT)! mm, ocuf fo ];onaT) Oa^ai^ cmn. 
Ocuf jio p-onpa- car; poix pe^aib CClban, vu iT)|iocaiia 
Conpcanrni mac Cnie'Da aiiiT)fi CClban ociip pocaiT)! 
mm. 1p ant) pin va mm^ in ralum po pepaib CClban. 
XXVI. bai, imoiipo, apali cum pan a TDcpaib Open-o 
ppi pe .xl. bbaxtan can inpeD ^all .i. o pemip Tnael- 
peclainn mic TnailpnanaiT) ciipin mblia-Dain pe nee 
■piainT) mic TTIailpeclainT), ocup co gabail pip -do Miall 
^ltinT)iib. 1p anD pin po hcrflinaD Opiu tdo longpib 
^all. Ip anD 'ona ramc lonf;ep la naconx) ocup la 
Co]"^a "Napa copgabpar; ap Loc "Dacaech ocup cop 
hmpe-D TTlumain leo. Ro bpipeT)ap, -ona, Ciaip^i cac 
popru, TDU iTDpocaip "Comap Ciiit) Cpere. Ro bpipe-oap, 
"Dna, Via pami^ ocup Oen^upa cac ele popru. Ro 
bpipi'oap Connacca "ona, pop longep tumnig cai ele. 

1 These tvere also. T)a iiocina'Doix 
pain uile beop, L., " all these were 
killed together." 

2 Were slaughtered. Lit. "a slaughter 
was put upon Kagnall's son, &c." 
CCyi tnoTi, B., "a great slaughter." 
L. adds oc CCchclictch, " at Ath 
Cliath," i.e., Dublin. 

3 Aedh, son of Niall. L. reads, " Aed 
Finnliath Mac Neill :" but B. has la 
TiCCeT) ua MeiU, "by Aedh O'Neill," 
which is clearly \^Tong. 

4 Of Ath Cliath. In CCcbclicrch, 
L., " at Ath Cliath." 

" Bnrith. The same person who is 
called Baraid, at the beginning of this 
chapter, and who appears to have been 
the Commander of the Fair Gentiles, 
as RagnaU's son was of the Black 

6 Wounded. L. adds, ocup ba 

bacac ixiatii 1a^^pam be, "and he 
was lame ever after that." '^w'fi ba 
bacac laiiarii -oa eipe, B., " so that 
he was lame ever after." 

7 A battle. L. reads " The black 
Gentiles after this were driven out of 
Erinn, and went to Alba (Scotland) 
where they gained a battle over the 
men of Alba, in which were slain Con- 
stantine, son of Cinaedh, chief king of 
Alba, and a great many with him." 
See the original, App. A. B. omits 
the clause, " in which fell Constantine, 
&c., and many with him." 

^ Under the men. Po copaib \ie\i 
nCClbani, B., "under the feet of the 
men of Alba." 

9 Forty years. There is probably a 
mistake in this number. See Intro- 

10 Haconn. This is the reading of L. 


^'^ '- . 

to Corcumruadh and Leim-Conchulainn. These were also^ 

killed by the men of Erinn. After this Ragnall's son 

and the foreigners were slaughtered" by Aedh, son of Niall,^ 

at the banquet that was made for Ragnall's son of Ath 

Cliath.^ A battle w^as fought between themselves, viz., 

between the Fair Gentiles and the Black Gentiles, that is 

to say, between Barith^ and Ragnall's son, in which fell 

Ragnall's son and many with him ; but Barith was 

wounded^ there. And they gained a battle^ over the 

men of Alba, wherein fell Constantine, son of Cinaeth, é^9P*>*^*i^i^f', f^ (p(»ó 

chief king of Alba, and many -svith him. It was on that 

occasion that the earth bui'st open under the men^ of Alba. 

XXVI. Now, however, there was some rest to the men A cessation 
of Erinn for a period of forty years, ^ without ravage of for^ort '°^'* 
the foreigners : viz., from the reign of Maelseaclilainn, son years, 
of Maehaianaidh, to the year before the death of Flann, ^ d'^Iig 
son of Maelseaclilainti, and the accession to the tlnrone of 
Niall Glundubh. It was then that Erinn became again 
filled with the fleets of the foreigners. It was then came 
a fleet under Haconn^° and under Cossa-Nara, ' ^ and seized Hacon and 
on Loch da Caech, and Mumhain was plundered by them. tikTwa- 
The Ciarraighe then defeated them in a battle, where fell terford. 
Thomas Cinn Crete. '^ The Ui Fathaigh,'^ also, and the Defeated 
Ui Oenghusa defeated them in another battle. Tlie men ^T ^^®. 
of Connacht also gained another battle over the fleet of 

and B. which has been adopted, instead 
of Cond^ the reading of D. 

11 Cossa-Nara. Coy^ana|^1aa, B. 
The Annals, although they notice this 
invasion of Loch da Chaech, or Water- 
ford harbour, do not give the names 
of the leaders. 

13 Thomas Cinn Crete. Dr. O'Dono- 
van suggests, that Cenn Crede may be 
the place called Credan head, barony 
of Galtier, east of county Waterford, 
■where the Danes had a settlement ; 
and that Thomas of Cenn Crete ■was 
a Dane of that place, who seems from 

his name to have been a Christian. B. 
omits the whole passage, Ro byiir-e- 
xia'fi TDTia Ciai-p-gi [so in D., but read 
Cia|iiT.ai5e] cot po-p,éu, yc, to O 
Oenguy^a cctú ete poixcu, inclusive ; 
substituting only T)a bi\i-peccair(, 
uctcaf) cctt po■|^1^a, which is evidently 

13 Ui Fathaigh. The inhabitants of 
Iffa and Offa, coimty Tipperarj'. The 
Ui Oenghusa were the descendents of 
Oenghus Mac Xadfraidh, king of Mim- 
ster, who was killed A.D. 489 (Four 
M., where see Dr. O'Donovan's note). 


co^ccT)?! 5aeT)lieL ue ^allccibíi. 

The fleet of 
under the 
children of 

isms of the 

The fo- 

Uo bjiife-ocqi Diict Cicqiaip ocuf Co^icinicnvcin ccrc ele 
poi^iui ic Lemain, vu iT)|iocaiii, RoIt: pu-Dcqiill, ocuf 
qii ceo umi, octif ITliqiaiU. 

XXVII. 'Ccmic icqxpii 1115 lon^ef a-obiil mop, clainni 
Iniaiii innCCé Cliar; ocuf i^o hniyie'D uiiimoi"i ©laeiTD uli 
leo, ociif yio loT-ex) leo am CCii-omaca ; ocuf po byiifi'Dap, 
ccté po]i pictiTO mac ITlailfeclainn 'Oii 1 "Diiocaiii CCeT» 
mac Conciibaip, ociif Leiiguf mac Cyionecan epfcop 
Cilli "Daiia, ociif "DoncaT) mac Tnail-otnn abb "Delga; 
1. Ill bliaT)ain 110 ma^iba-D tnailfeclainn if í blia-Dam ; 
ocuf fo haift^eT) ocuf jio lofcex) Laef in 011 la mac 
Imaif, ocuf fio haif^eT) CUiain Uama; ocuf fio mayi- 
ba-D pef^al mac piia&a epfcop octip abb Cluana, 
octif tiaiian mac Cefiii in pecnop. 1p y\ f\n pop 
blia-Dam ap, mapba-D "OonncaT) mac 'Dliib'DabopenT) p.i 
Cappil, octip Sirpnic p,i ^all, ocilp 'oa pionpca: ip^ala 
im-oa ele yie Un^iib ipni bliaDain. Cerpi blia-ona 
lappin po pacpar ^aill CpiiiT), ocup lorcap 111 CClbani 
im Sirpiuc mac Imap. 

1 CoiTobhaiscinn, now Corhovascin. 
A people in Thomond, south-west of 
the conntj' Clare. Lemhain [pron. 
Levmi] or Laime, is a river falling into 
the Lower Lake of Killarney. B. reads, 
Vm X)\x\\\ Connact;a cac yio\\ 
U)in5epp Luimnij, ocup "do 13^,1- 
peccaii CiciiT.i\ai5e ocup Cofica- 
biapciiTD cac ele -poirviiae cc^ Le- 
Tnmn : "The Connaught men gained 
a battle over the fleet of Limerick, and 
the Kerrj"^ men and Corcobhaiscinn 
another battle over them at the 
Lemain." L. makes the victors in this 
battle to be the Eoghanachts [of Kil- 
larney], and the Corcoduibhne [now 
Corkaguinny, in Kerry], instead of the 
Ciarraighe and Corcobhaiscinn 

2 Roll Pudarill. These names, as 
given in D., seem intended to denote 
a single chieftain. B. and L. speak 
evidentlj* of more than one. B. gives 
their names Kut, Pudrall, and Smurall : 

T)U 1 zz,o\iQO\\\ Roc PuT)iialt ocup 
•Smuyiali, ocup ci\i ce-o anicciMe 
pyiiu : " In which fell Kot Pudrall and 
Smurall, and 300 along with them." 
L. has Ascalt, PutraU, and Smurull. 
See Appendix A. These names do not 
occur in the Annals. 

3 nUaged. B. reads p.© Loipcceax), 
" was burned." 

* Son ofCronecan. Lorgus Mac Cro- 
negain, B. Lergus Mac Crundmael, 
L. Lergus Mac Cniinden, Four M. 
(A.D. 885). Lergus Mac Cruinnein, 
Ann. Ult. (A.D. 887). 

^ Mac Maekluin. Donnchadh Mael, 
L. Donnchadh Mac Maeleduin, B. 
and Four M., -with the inflection or ge- 
nitive, in both parts of the compound 
name. He is called Abbot of Ihiii 
Delfja («bbT)uiii T)ek;ca), inB., and 
of CUl DeJfja, in Four INI. and Ult. 
The place intended is now Killdalkey, 
county Meath. After the word "Delcca, 



Luimneach. Moreover, the Ciarraighe and the Corcobh- 
aiseinn^ gained another battle over them at Lemain; in 
which fell Rolt Pudarill,^ and three hundi'ed with him, 
and Mm-aill. 

XXVII. After this came the prodigious royal fleet of 
the children of Imhar to Ath Cliath ; and the greater part 
of all Erinn was plundered by them ; Ard Macha, also, was 
piUaged^ by them ; and they gained a battle over Flann, 
son of Maelsechlainn, in which fell Aedh, son of Con- 
chobhar, and Lergus, son of Cronecan,^ bishop of CiU Dara, 
and Donchadli, son of Maelduin,^ abbot of Delgfa: viz., the 
year in which Maelsechlainn*' was killed was the year ; 
and Lis-mor was plundered and burned by the son of 
Imhar, and Cluain Uamha plundered, and Fergal, son of 
Finachta, bishop and abbot of Cluain'' killed, as weU as 
TJanan, son of Cerin, the prior. ^ This was also the year in 
which were kiUed Donnchadli, son of Duibhdabhorenn, 
king of Cassel, and Sitriuc, king of the foreigners'^ ; and 
they fought many other battles against the Laighen tliis 
year.^** Foiu- years after this^' the foreigners left Erinn, 
and went to Alba under Sitriuc, son of Imhar. 

The fleet of 
under the 
children of 

isms of the 

The fo- 

B. begins a new paragraph. In 
bbcfDuin jio maifiba'D Ulaet-pec- 
lain ipn pn in blm-oain, &c.: "The 
year Maelsechlainn was killed was the 
same year in which Lismore," &c. 

6 Maelsechlainn. L. reads, " the year 
in which (Ids Maelsechlain was killed." 
There is evidently some error which 
has caused a confusion in the Chrono- 
logy — for Maelsechlainn died [and was 
not killed] on Tuesday, the 30th No- 
vember, A.D. 863 (860 of the Four M. 
Comp. O'Flaherty, Ogyg., p. 43i), up- 
wards of twenty years before the events 
here recorded. See App. A., and note. 

7 Of Cluain. B. omits CLuana. 
The Four M. (A.D. 885), caU him 
abbot [not abbot and bishop] of Cluain 
Uamha. L. reads also Cluuna uama, 
Cloyne, not Clonmacnois. 

8 Prim: -Secnop [-Secnap, B. 
•Secnabb, L.], lit. "sub-abbot." The 
FourM. call him piaióip,"prior,"(A.D. 
885.) His name is variously given 
Uanan Mac Cemin, B. Uanan Cerin, 
L. Uamanán Mac Cérén, Four M. 

9 Sitriuc, King of the foreigners. 
•8icixiucc mac yiig gall, B., "son of 
the king of the foreigners." -SiugifiaT) 
mac Imaip, p,i gall, L. "Siugrad, 
son of Imar, king of the foreigners." 
The Annals of Ulster (A.D. 887), 
have " Sichfrith Mac Imair, rex Nord- 
mannorum a fratre suo per dolum 
occisus est." 

^^ This gear. Ipn blia-oam cewia, 
B., "in the same year." 

'^^ After this. B. omits lap-pn, "after 
this." L. omits altogether this clause, 
recording the invasion of Scotland. 


co^cc"oti ^cceT>Tiel Re ^ccllccibli. 

Ragnaii XXVIII. Taiiic, imo]i|io, iqifiii T;ola moii T>iqaiTiia 

kndat"^ lie Ro^nall luia nlmaiii, ocuf fie h0^uc^\i layila co|i 

Waterford ^abfcfc a]\ toc "Dacaeich, ociif jio TiiaiibaT) leo "Ooni- 

innumera- nail mac "DunchccDa iiis-Domna Ccq^il, ociif i^o hitijiiT; 

bie hordes. tTlufCfiaigi ocuf Ui Cqipiii, ocuf ^10 iiomi^GT: ecoiiiio 

^■c\l^ ia|ifin .1. a rpcm 1 Coiicai^, ocuf a qnaii 1 nlnif 

na hO'Din^i, ocuy a t;iaiaii ic ^laif Liitd, ociif \\o hiniieT) 

mumani uli leo fin, ^u na fabi zeoc^ na rem o lin 

po'DGf. In bliaDam fienec piainT) mic Tnailfeclamn 

fin. If leif in lonpfin, T)na, fo mafba-D ^ebennac 

mac CCe-Da fi^ Ua Conaill, ocUf fucfor; a cenT) leo af 

na mafbai), conit) T>e afbefx: in piliT) — 

TTIoifi in fcel a "Oe no mm, 
CC beic ic muintriix "Coniaiii, 
pe^aiT) yaib cen-o fig ^abfa 
TTlinT) amf-a ifúaif -Domain. 

A.D. 916. 18 leo fin fo mafba-o CCnle mac Corail fi llcrcni 
Pi-obaig, ocuf t-onjfeac mac §erna fi Uacni 'Cifi. 

For pacfcrc here, and in many other 
places, (see p. 24, lines 18, 19,) D. 
reads acfccc, omitting the quiescent 
initial p. So also -oeiaaib for -opeixaib 
(p. 26, line 7.) 

1 Ragnall. The arrival of a great 
fleet of foreigners at Loch da Caech 
[Waterford], is recorded by the Four 
M., A.D. 912 (Ann. Ult. 913) ; and 
they are called " the foreigners of 
Loch da Caech," Ann. Ult. 914, 915. 
The Four M. (A.D. 915), and Ann. 
Ult. (A.D. 916), speak of the fleet 
under Eagnall, as having come to 
reinforce a previously established set- 
tlement at Loch da Caech. But neither 
of these authorities mention the Earl 
Ottir, who is called Oijir in B : he 
Rccjnall, ó nloriiaiii ocuf le hOipi-p, 
layila. D. spells the name hcciYX, 
omitting o, probably by an error of 
the scribe. The Saxon Chron. men- 

tions an Earl " OMer" slain A.D. 910. 
For cola mop, "Diayinnce (cola moyx 
'Oiaiiftiiie, B.) "innumerable hordes," 
L. reads mop, coblac, "a great fleet." 

2 Domhnall, son of Donnchadh. B. 
omits this name. 

^Afterwards. CC cpi m-D, B., "they 
separated into three." Ra f cailf ec 
laififain, L., "they separated after- 

* Inis na hEdnighi. Iniv' no heiT)- 
niji, B. Inif na li&iDai^i, L. This 
place is in the county Kerry, now called 

^FromLui. laoi, B. lui, L. 
and D., meaning, no doubt, the river 

6 The year. B. reads in bliaxiain 
■p,e néccf loinn mic lllaoileclainn : 
" There was not a house or a hearth 
from the Lee southwards, in the year 
before the death of Flaun, son of 

ú'^OTpC ADa/3 . 




'^'^^ - ;.., . 

XXVIII. Afterwards came imiumerable hordes under Ragnail ''/z/jAy 

Ragnall, ' grandson of Imar, and the Earl Ottir, and they ^^^^ J^''^ ^^/JL a( 
landed at Loch da Caech ; and Domlinall, son of Donn- Waterford ,^^^6^ 

ehadh,^ heir apparent of Caisel, was killed by them : and innumera- \^ ^ 
they plundered Muscraighe and Ui Cairpre ; and they bie hordes, /'^á*/-/:^*^ = 
aftei'wards^ separated into three parties ; one-third settled Sf ^ 1^aA^í~ 
in Corcach, and one-third in Inis na liEdnighi,'* and one- An -n */y - 
thii'd in Glas-Linn ; and the whole of Minister was ravaged y' ^y* ' *^^t*' ** " 
by them, so that there was not a house or a hearth from .-^v ^'^J'mu /,?//<<' "mi^ 
Lui^ southward. This was the year^ before the death of '-'^'^^^/'^r^^^S'.^^giyfv 
Flann, son of Maelsechlainn. It was also by that fleet "^iú('iAéa^/'/^>f^?y}^) >c 
that Gebennach, son of Aedh, king of Ui Conaill/ was '^^=7«^ 'M^*^ /^ V 
killed, and they earned away his head after killing him, ^ 
Wherefore the poet^ said — 

It was by them were kiUed Anle,^ son of Cathal, king of A.D. 916. 
Uaithne-Fidhbhaigh, and Loingsech, son of Setna, king of 

Great is the pity, O God of heaven, 

That the people of Tomar should have it ! 

Behold the head of Gabhra's king is taken fi-om you ! 

Illustrious gem of the west of the world ! 

Maelsechlainn." This clause is omitted 
in L. 

~' King of Ui Conaill: i.e., of the 
Ui ConaiU Gabhra, or barony of 
Conelloe, "west of county Limerick. 
The Four M. call him king of the Ui 
Fidhgeinte (A.D. 914), which is not 
a real difference. For the relation 
between the Ui Conaill Gabhra and 
the Ui Fidhgeinte, see Dr. O'Donovan's 
notes. Leahliar na gCeart, pp. 67, 76. 

8 The poei. B. omits, in pii^iT). In 
line 2 of the quatrain, B. reads CC bich 
og; and L. CC beic oc Thomaiii. Line 
3 in L. is illegible, but in B. is thus 
given, iresai-o liB ceiro 1x15 '^ctbixa 
gLam, " behold the head of bright 
Gabhra's king is taken from you." 
"Sairtba, D., for which 'gabiia is sub- 

stituted from B. " Muinter Tomair ;"' 
the people or family of Tomar, a name 
given to the Danes of Dublin. See 
the Poem quoted by the Four M., A.D. 
942 ; and Dr. O'Donovan's Pref. to the 
Book of Rights, p. xxx\-i, sq. 'Line 4, 
la'ficai'ia, B., which is more correct. 

9 Anle. B. reads, CCiiTDle mac 
Ccrcait -p-i uaitne ciifie, omitting 
the notice of Loingsech, by an error 
of transcription. Uaithne-Fidhbaigh, 
called also Uaithne-Cliach (now Owney 
beg), is a barony north-east of the 
county Limerick. Uaithne-Tire (now 
Owney), is an adjoining barony, county 
Tipperary. Anle, is called son of 
'■^ Cathan, not Cathal, in L. ; Four M. 
(A.D. 914), and Ann. Ult. (A.D. 915- 


co^ocoti sa;eT>tiel v.e ^ccllccibti. 

An extra- 
of the fo- 
reigners, at 
A.D. S69. 

Battle of 
Cell Ua 
A.D. 869. 

XXIX. Ro roslccD 'ona, T)iin Tn am imqiruii e-fienT), 
ocii]" ]\o cniieT) a^i -Deitmaiia T)iafiiei"i ]io\i ^ctllaib an-o 
la Conili^aii mac ITlailcitoin, ocuy la h&o^anact; Laca 
Lein, ociif p.e piaiTDabiicrc Ua nT)iinaT)ai5, ^ai tia Con- 
naill, ocii]^ lie Coiisalac mac Lacrna \l^ Cia|iais;i, ociii^ 
la laiiT^ii^i e^iieiiT) a^i cena. If fi fiii blucDani I'o^iocaiii 
Colpni 1 CiiiT) Cliff ai5, ociif fo barei) Oaecbaff. If 
fi fiii blKtT)ain fo aif5 CCrnlccib mac fi^ Loclann Laef 
niof ; ociif fo loifc poenrefan mac "Dfopiean, ocuf 
Pf niti^i leif, lo1l^;pofo CCmlaib fe nai-Dci hid, ociif 
fo maifb a bfaraif fein laffin .i. Of ill, ociif ba 
mifbiib T)0 TTIiicii'oti fin. 1f fi fin bluroam, imoffo, 
fo bfif Concnbaf mac Tai-D^ fi Conacr:, ocuf CCct) 
Pn^liai mac lleill Cailli caé ele fOfru .i. ccrc Cilli 
ua nT)ai^fi, t)11 i-ofocaif .ii. cec vo na pn-o^ennb, t)U 
in-Dfocaif mac Connamt; fi bfema^e afoen fui, ociif 
"Oiafmait; mac Creffceoil fi Laca ^abaif .i. fe bliax)- 
na lafnec ITlailfeclaiiiT) mic TTIailfiianaiT). If af 
fin T>o f 15111 in^en Tieill .1. fiiif CCe'oa ocuf maraif 

Stiff an, DUffan, "oe^fcel, -Dfocjpcel 
1TlaiT)m cctta ftiai-o feniaig, 
rStif fan fi5 -DO f-igm failit) 
"Ouffan f 1 foffuf niai^. 

1 Demolished. B. reads, Ro cojl/a'D 
leo "Dun Tllaine, " Dunmaine was 
demolished by them ;" and for "west of 
Ireland," a marginal note suggests an 
layvcaifi TiriuTiiain, "west of Muns- 

~ Indescribable. B. omits "di af n ef i , 
and reads, a^i mop, 'oeifiniaii'i, "a 
great, eiiormous slaughter." 

3 Dunadhach. D. reads, "Ua Dunar- 
daigh :" an eiTor which has been cor- 
rected from B. Comp. Four M., A.D. 
833, 834 ; Ann. Ult. 834. 

^ With him. B. reads, \l\\i TTluiji 
maiLli yuT. This defeat of Amlaff 
and Uisill, at Lismore, seems to be the 

same that was mentioned above, chap, 
xxiv. ; where mention is also made of 
the death of Colphin, and the drown- 
ing of Baethbarr. 

5 Own brother : i.e., Amhlaibh's own 

6 Modmda. St. Mochuda ; the patron 
saint of Lismore. The victory is as- 
cribed to his miraculous aid. 

1 Connacht. B. reads, Ciannaclica, 
wliich is e\ndently -wrong. See the 
Four M. (A.D. SGQ), and Dr. O'Dono- 
van's notes. 

^ Five hundred. B. reads, .ix.c, "nine 
hundred." It appears from the account 
given by the Four lil., that this was 


XXIX. Dun Main, in the west of Erinn, was demolished/ An extra- 
and an extraordinary and indescribable^ slaughter of the slaughter 
foreigners was effected there by Conligan, son of Maelcron, of the fo- 

TGl'^TlGrS tit 

and the Eoganachts of Loch Lein, and by Flannabrat, grand- Dunmain, 
son of Dunadach,^ king of Ui Conaill; and by Congalach, ^-^- 8G9. 
son of Lachtna, king of Ciarraighe ; and by the whole 
west of Erinn. Tliis was the year in which Colphinn fell 
at Cenn Curi-aigh, and BaethbaiT was di'owned. This was 
the year in which Amlaibh, son of the king of Lochlainn 
plimdered Leas Mor ; and Foenteran, son of Drognean, 
and the Fii- Muighi with him,'* binned Amlaibh' s camp 
before nig-ht in revenge, and he killed his own brother^ 
after that, viz., Osill ; and these were the miracles of 
Mochuda.*^ This was the year, also, in which Conchobhar, Battle of 
son of Tadhg, king of Connacht,^ and Aedli Fiimliath, son upai^ji^re 
of NiaU Caille, gained another battle over them, viz., the a.d. 8G9. 
battle of Cell ua nDaighre, in which fell five hundred^ of 
the fair Gentiles ; where fell the son of Conang, king of 
Bregh-Magh, along with them, and Diarmait, son of 
Eidirscel, king of Loch Gabhair, six years after the death 
of Maelsechlainn, son of Maelruanaidli. It was upon it^ 
that NiaU's daughter, ^*^ i.e., the sister of Aedh, and 
mother of Flann, composed these lines : — 

Joy ! woe ! good news ! bad news ! 
The defeat of a bloody battle by him, 
Joy to the king who won, let him rejoice ! 
SorroAv to the king who was defeated ! 

really a battle between Aedh Finn- 
liath, king of Ireland, and Flann, son 
of Conang, king or lord of Bregia ; the 
Finngaill, or Fair Gentiles, acting as 
auxiliaries to the latter. 

9 Upo7i it: i.e., upon the battle. 

1" AlalFs daughter. The mother of 
Flann, king of Bregh-magh, or Bregia, 
who fell in the battle, was the sister of 
Aedh Finnliath, king of Ireland, and 
daughter of Niall Caille ; so that Flann 
was fighting against his uncle on the 

side of the Norsemen. The verses here 
quoted, as the composition of Flann's 
mother, are given in the Leabhar Gabh- 
ala of the O'Clerys (p. 204) , and also 
in the Four M. From these copies we 
gather the following various readings : 
Line 2, Remccij) PcOinnx), B. Rae- 
nai5, Four M. and L. Gabh. Line 3, 
"DO yiisni pctiLiT)) -oia iroeaifina pa- 
oitiT), Four M. and L. Gabh. Line 4, 
■poiai^cqx nicds) poi\-p yioemi-D, B., 
Four M. and L. Gabh. 



cosccT)ti scceDliel ne sccllccibti. 

and Ottir 
slain in 
A.D. 916. 

Arrival of 
of Imar. 

Battle of 
A.D. 916. 


Sitriuc, the 
blind, takes 

The battle 
of Dublin, 
A.D. 919. 

Ro innaiibaic lap.fni z\'ia apii ITlumain, ocuf 'oacua- 
r:a\i in nCClbcnn, ociif rucfcrc cah [t)o] ComyzanzMn nnac 
CCeT»a .1. 'DO ftig CClbcm, ocuf iio mqibaio cqioen aiTD, .i. 
Hobnail ocuf Oci|i, ocuf á\i a mtnTCi^ii leo. 

XXX. Ill blia-bmn iio gaB 'Mial'L'glunub ]v\^6 nOfienT) 
1^111, ramc, vua, loiigef ele la Siqiuic iicc nliTicqi coyi 
^abfcrc 1 CiiiT) puair, ocuf iio hnipr Lct^ni leo, ociif i^io 
lucini^ex: cere po^i tlsaiiii mac CCillella .i. poji |ii Lo^en, 
T)U iiTDiiocaiiT. baiDeni ocuf maelmoii-Da mac 1Tliiiiei- 
gean ]\) mí]\u]\ Lijoe, ociif mti5[iióin mac Ceniiieioci^ 
111 tai§pe, ocuf na qii Comann, ociif Cionaeu mac 
'Ciiarail yit^ nOneclaif, ociif Tllaelmae'DOc mac "Dmix- 
mara ab ^Inine tlifen, ocuf aiii-oefptig tai^en, ocuf 
yai ecciia na n^aoiTiel, ocuf fe cez a^iaen i^iii, im 
caeccar; 1115. Ro haiixcceT) Cell "Daiia leo a^i fin, acuf 
ufmoii cell nOf.enn. 

XXXI. 'Caimc lapvm inlloingef a-obal mo^i la S11:- 
fitncc, ocuf la cloinn Iniaif, .1. la Siqimcc caec na 
nlomaif, ^Uf gabpao af eiccin 1 n'Duiblmn CCra Chaz, 
ocuf TDO ixonpai: -poiibaifi ann. "Do laonax» vua moiii- 
rionól Leire Cuinn la iliall ^UinDub mac CCoT)a], co 
cue caz Doib ic iCz Chaz du niDfocaiii lliall baifiT)e 

1 Banished. For fio iniiayibat; layi- 
■pin z]\a apn niumam, B. reads, 
"DO maiaba-D zyia ■pm mte ipn lllu- 
liiaiti, "they were all killed then in 
Mumhain," which is inconsistent with 
what follows, that they went into Scot- 

'- Into Albaiii. L. omits the whole 
of this chapter except the concluding 
paragraph beginning with these words. 
See Appendix A. And it is evident 
that this paragraph is out of its place 
in the text, and ought to be read in 
continuation of the preceding chapter, 
for it was the fleet of Loch da Caech 
(Waterford bay), there mentioned, 
that went into Scotland under the 
command of Eaghnall and Ottir, and 
were defeated by Constantine III., in 

or about A.D. 916. See Four M., in 
anno, and Keating, p. 623. B. trans- 
poses the words. In bl-iaTDain \xo 5ul3 
iliulL "gluiiub [read, 'glun'ouli] 
1x151 iiG"|ieiTD •pin, gi%'ing them after 
SiCYiiuc ua nimaix. The meaning 
is the same. 

3 A battle. The Ann. Ult., Four M., 
and Keating, state distinctly that this 
battle was fought at Cenn Fuait : but 
Keating makes Imar (not the grand- 
son of Imar), the leader of the foreign- 
ers on the occasion. 

* Western Life. D. and Keating read, 
iaiacaiia Lipe, " western Liffey." But 
the Ann. Ult., Leab. Gabh., Four M., 
and B., read aiixciyi, "eastern," which 
is probably correct. 

^ Mtir/liron. The remainder of this 



They were afterwards banished^ from Mumhain, and went Raghnaii 
into Albain^; and tliey ga,ve battle to Constantine, son of gi"^^^^^"^'' 
Aedli, king: of Albain, in which both were killed, viz., Ragh- Scotland, 
nail and Otir, and their people slaughtered with them. 

XXX. The same year in which Niall Glundubh became AiTivai of 
monarch of Erinn there came another fleet with Sitriuc, gy!,"^gQj^ 
grandson of Imar, and they settled at Cenn Fuait ; and of Imar. 
Laighin was plundered by them, and they gained a battle^ Battle of 
over Ugaii-e, son of Ailill, king of Laighin, in which he J^J" g^g *' 
himself was killed, and Maelmordha, son of Muireigean, 
king of western Life,* and Mugh[roin,'' son of Cenneidigh, 
king of Laighis and of the three Comanns, and Cionaeth, 
son of Tuathal, king of O nEnechlais, and Maelmaedhog, 
son of Diarmaid, abbot of Glenn Uisen and archbishop of 
Laighin, a learned sage of the Gaedhil, and six hundred 
with them, together with fifty kings. Cell Dara was then Kiidare 
plundered by them, and the greater part of the chm-ches plundered. 
of Erinii. 

XXXL There came after that an immense royal fleet sitriuc, the s^t^. h 2£?J^>u 
with Sitriuc and the children of Imar, i.e., Sitriuc, the ^^''^'í'. *^^®^ -«'■''•''-/ ' 



blind,*' grandson of Imar ; and they forcibly landed^ at 
Dubhlinn of Atli Cliath, and made an encampment there. 
The great muster of Leth Cuinn^ was made by Niall Glun- 
dubh, sonof Aedh,] and he gave them battle atAth Cliath," The battle 
where Niall fell, who was^° the monarch of Erinn, and ^^ í'^^l'Íf ' 

chapter, (after the first syllable of this 
word,) and the first five lines of the 
next, as marked by brackets in the 
text, are wanting in D., owing to the 
loss of a portion of a leaf in the MS. 
The deficiency is supplied from B. 

6 Sitriuc, the hlind. Called Sitriuc 
Gale (gúle) in the L. Gabh. (p. 210), 
and by the Four M. (A.D. 817). He 
is expressly called grandson of Imar, 
and therefore was probably the same 
as the Sitriuc, grandson of Imar, who 
settled at Cenn Fuait, as mentioned 
in the foregoing chapter. 

'!' Forcibly landed. The Four M.give 
836, as the date of the first occupation 

of Dublin by the foreigners. In the 
interval the Irish may have recovered 

8 Leth Cuinn. See p. 8, note ''. 

At Ath Cliath. The Ann. Ult. 
(A.D. 918-19), and Four M. (917), 
tell us that this battle was fought on 
Wednesday, 17 Kal. Oct. [not 17 Oct., 
as Dr. O'Donovan has printed it], 
and that Easter feU that year on the 
7 Kal. of May. These criteria, as 
O'Flaherty remarks {Ogyg. p. 434), 
determine the year to be 919. 

!<* Who was. Ou-oeTpin al|^'Dl^1 
&lfienn, B. a difference of spellinj,^ 



C0feCCT)li 5cceT)1iel iie ^ccllccibli. 

Niall Glun- 
dubh, and 
other kings 

A.D. 921. 

Defeat of 
the foreign- 
ers at Tigh- 

aiiT)|ii G-iieiTD, octif t)cí p T)ec no i^i^cnb Client) nmi .1. 
Iliall bct-oen, ocuf Conciibcqi mac ITlaili^eclairiT), iii^- 
T)oniiic( "Cemiiac, octiv Conctin^ mcfc "piccmT) iiTDOinncc 
CiieiTD, octii^ ■piairbeii-ac mac TJomnaill ^^['Domiui] 
eile e-]ienT), ocuf CCe-n mac eocaDa ]\^ lllax), ocuv 
TDailmicig mac 12101111115011 |ii Ojie^, ocuf ©iiimon mac 
CeiiT)neir;i5 plair Ceneil TDani, ocuf Con^alac mac 
Cell |ii 11a Tnactiaif, ocuy Con^alac mac "Diiemain yu 
Cjiimraine, niaelmiiin mac CCnbica ^ii TTlii^oiiii'D, ocuv 
T)eocaii mac 'Domnaill yii Cianacra, octif T)iniaii mac 
Ceiiballaii, ociif bjieiian mac "Pe^i^ufa, ociii» upmoii 
mari Leri CtnnT) a]ioeii inn ^in, ocuf yliiaT; T)iaiiimiri 

XXXII. Ro bmiieT), "ona, ruafceiix: Client) lie ^odi- 
11111 mac Imafi laiifin, octip po haiii^er) CCinDinaca. Cit) 
T^iia acr ■cayiif -poyiiirio fow 111 cat; 1^111, pom am fomaip 
lie cent) mbluroiia; vm^ |io biiif T)oncat) mac lllail- 
l^eclamt) cac poiiro fom uqipin ic 'Ci^TTIic'Oeicrit;, ocuf 

'>■ nimself. PoT)ein, B. The kings 
who fell with Xiall in this battle are 
differently enumerated in the authori- 
ties ; and, except in D,, the number 
twelve is not retained. Couchobhar, 
son of Maelsechnaill (as in B., D., and 
Keat.) is termed grandson of Mael- 
sechnaill, by the Ann. Ult., L. Gabh., 
and Four M. Aedh, son of Eochadh, 
is called son of Eochagan, by L. Gabli., 
Four M., and Keat, Eremhon, son of 
Cennedigh, is called Cromman, son of 
Cennedigh, in L. Gabh. and Four M. ; 
but his name, with all that follow, is 
omitted in Ann. Ult. L. Gabh. and 
Four M. mention him, but omit all that 
follow him. B., although retaining 
the statement that twelve kings were 
slain, names ,^i!eera, (see note ',)agree- 
ing in other respects with the text, 
except that Dunan, son of Ccrbhallan, 
is called ÍHman; Conaing,sonof Flann, 
is called Concholihair; Congalacli, son 
of Drcman, is called sou of Dremnan. 

^ Heir apparent. B. adds el/G, 
" another." 

^ Erinn. Om., B. D. reads, yii eite, 
" another king," instead of ■p.ij'ooiiiiio 
eiLe, B., "another heir apparent." 

^ King of Bregh. After this name 
B. inserts, ocui^ TnaeL-Dub \\^ CC1l^- 
j:;iall, Tllaelciaaibi mac T)oilj;ein, 
ocui^ Ceallccch mac Pajctixcccij; ^\\^ 
'Delrcell^c b^iej: "And Maeldubh, 
king of Airgiall " [Maelcroibhe Ua 
Dubhsionaigh, lord of Oirghiall, Leab. 
Gabh., Four M., and Keat. Mael- 
craibi Mac Dubhsionaigh king of 
Airghiall, Ann. Ult.] " Maelcrabi, son 
of Doilgen" [L. Gabh. and Four Jf. 
add, if\i 'Coi\caii, king of Tortan], 
"andCeallach, sonof Faghartach, king 
of south Bregia." [■Clj5ea^^n(( TA\y- 
cei]ic biies, "lord of soutli Brcgia," 
L. Gabh., and Four M.]. This inter- 
polation increases the list of slain kings 
to lifteen instead of twelve. It was 
probably taken by the transcriber from 



twelve kinofs of the kings of Eriiui along; with liim, viz., 
NiaU himself^ ; and Conch obhar, son of Maelseclilainn, 
heir apparent of Temhair ; and Conaing, son of Flann, 
heir apparent"^ of Erinn ; and Flaithbhertach, son of Domli- 
nall, another heir apparent of Erinn^ ; and Aedli, son of 
Eochaidh, king of Uladh ; and Maelmithigh, son of Flan- 
nagan, king of Bregh* ; and Eremhon, son of Cennedigh, 
chiefs of Cenel Mani ; and Congalach, son of Cele, king 
of Ua Macuais^ ; and Congalach, son of Dreman, king 
of Crimhthainn ; Maelmuire, son of Ainbith, king of 
Mugomn -^ and Deochan, son of Domhnall, king of Cian- 
achta ; and Dunan, son of Cerbhallan ; and Brenan, son 
of Fergus ; and the greater part of the nobles^ of Leth 
Ciiinn with them, and a countless army besides. 

XXXII. The north of Erinn, also, was plundered by 
Gothrin,^ son of Imar after that, and Ard Macha was 
spoiled. Notwithstanding, however, that this battle was 
gained over them, Tomais'^ submitted before the end of 
a year ; for Donnchadh, son of Maelsechlainn, ^ ' gained a 
battle over them at Tigh-Mic-Deicthig,'^ and it was hn- 

N iall Glun- 
dubh, and 
other kings 

the Leabhar Gabhala, and inserted 
■without regard to the number. 

5 Chief. D. reads, 7 pLaic, " and 
the chief," but the 7, " and," is probably 
a mistake of the scribe for .1. "i.e." 

6 King of Ua Macuais. ^Xmt 
uib mac Cuai'p, B., "prince of [or 
from] the tribe of Mac Cuais." 

7 Mugomn. inu5T>oi\n, B., which 
is more correct. 

^Nohles. B. omits mcrci, and reads, 
tiyiiiioi\ LeiÉe Cuinn uile a^\ aen 
yii-p, ocuy^ i^luaij 'Dii\iiiie aiacena: 
" The greater part of all Leth Cuinn 
along with him, and an inniunerable 
army likewise." 

9 Gothrin. B. reads, 'gopyiaij ua 
nlmaix," Gofraigh, grandson of Imar," 
which is confirmed by the Four M., 
who call him Goffraith, grandson of 
Imar, and date the spoiling of Armagh 
919, " on Saturday, the day before St. 

Martin's festival" [not "the Saturday 
before," as Colgan and Dr. O'Donovan 
translate it]. It follows that 921 must 
have been the true year. 

10 Tomais. So in both MSS. ; but it 
seems evident that Tamar or Tomar, 
the chieftain mentioned in the next 
chapter, was intended. 

11 Son of Maelsechlainn. So in both 
SISS. ; but it ought to be grandson, 
for Donnchadh, king of Ireland, who 
succeeded Niall Glundubh, was son of 
Flann Sionna, and grandson of Mael- 
sechlainn. The L. Gabh. and Four M. 
say, that the battle here described took 
place in the first year of Donnchadh's 
reign. If so, it must have been in 919, 
two years before the sacking of Armagh 
by Gothrin or Goffrey. There is, there- 
fore, some confusion. 

12 Tigh-Mic-Deicthig. "InCianachta 
Bregh, i.e., Tigh-Mic-nEathach," Four 

A.D. 921. 

Defeat of 
the foreign- 
ers at Tigh- 


co^ccoti scx:eT)Viel ne ^ccllcnbli. 

Tamar, son 
of Elge, 
at Inis 
A.D. 922. 


churches of 
Loch Derg, 
the Shan- 
non, and 
Lough Ree 
also west 
Meath and 
south Con- 
A.D. 922. 

History of 
the Danes 
in Munster. 

110 penieT) a aiiinim aiiT> ccii Tnap.baT) do gallctib. "Daig 

111 mo net liii inninpi fcel vo ciiaiT) leo ay vo gallcnb. 

XXXIII. 'Came iqifin Camqi mac Olp i^^ lon^ef 
aT)balmo|i; -goy gab aplnif SibroiTO [aii cuan Luimmg, 
ocui^ \\o hiiiT)f.a'D uiimoix IDiiman leo ayy eit:i|i cealla 
oetif cticrra. Loiacan mac Conlisani ba yii Caifil an 
ran fin. 

XXXIV. 'Cainic laiifin eoBlac ayi Loc 'Deft^'oeiic, 
giiyi aiyigetxaii 1nif Celcjia, oeiip y.0 bai-bfioi: a fciame, 
ocuf a mionna, octif a liubiaa, ocuf iio aiyiccfiot; TDna 
TTluiciniv RiccgaiU, ociif cella "DeiiccDejic ; ocuf jio 
aiiicci^iot: 'dii va glap, octif toi]ia, ociif Cliiain ■peyirae, 
octif Clnam mic "Moif, ocuf Inif Clor^iann, octif 1nif 
bo pnne, octif cella toca RiB af cena ; octif lafraif 
TTli'De, octif -DeifceifT: Connacr, octif fo mafbfar; "Duach 
fi CCif)ne, ociif focai'oe ele, octif fo fiacr:ct7:T;af flan 
afif CO Ltiimnec, gan ccrc octif gan cliarhai). 

If laT) fin aifD^momafcha clonine GI51 octif lomgfi 
Q£ta Clio^ hi Leii Cinn'o, ocuf hi Laipnb. CC ccf eaca 
imoffo, octif a niof§ala, octif a cclicrcca, ni ftnlir hi 
cctnmne, octif ni haifimT:ef hi leabfaib. 

XXXV. Imrtifa imoffo na ÍTltiman octif clomne 
liiiaif inifcef ftinn co leicc, T)Ói5 fo fODaimfiOT: a 
naenaf lei T)Ocaif octif 'oocfaire fe h&finn inle. 

"Canic "Dna Oinf "Dtib lafla, lufe .c long co pofc 

51. The L. Gabh. says, "in Cianachta 
Bregh," without mentioning Tigh-Mic- 
nEathach. See Reeves, Adamnan, p. 
110, note ^ B. reads, T)ói5 yio bp,if 
"DonnchaT) mac ■nicceileclccmn ccté 
Voixin.«e 1 r;cai5 meic ileccaig ocuf 
m |io cumaingpoc «ii\eiii a]\ inaix- 
baf) "DO 'gctW'Ccib ann : "For Donn- 
chad, son of Maelsechlainn, gaineda bat- 
tle over them at Tigh meic nEchtaigh " 
[house of the son of Eochadh], " and it 
was not possible to count the number 
of the foreigners that was killed there." 
1 Landed at. For 5011 gab ap, 
1nif, B. reads, in Inif. Inis Sibh- 
tonn (now King's Island), is called by 

the Four M., Inis Uhhdain, which is 
only another form of the name (A.D. 
965 and 9G9), but they make no 
mention of Tamar's settlement there. 
The Ann. Ult. (921-2) mention the 
fleet of Limerick imder the son of 
Ailche [Ailgi. Four M. 920], as hav- 
ing plundered Clonmacnois and the 
islands of Loch Ree. See O'Dono- 
van's Book of Rir/hts, Introd. p. xli. 
After the words Inif -SibconT), there 
occurs a considerable defect in D., 
which has been supplied from B. It 
extends from this place to the seventh 
line of chapter xxxvii., as indicated 
by the brackets in the text. 



possible to count the number that was there killed of the 
foreigners. For of the foreigners not more than enough 
to tell what had happened escaped. 

XXXIII. After that came Tamar, son of Elge, king of Tamar, son 

an immense fleet, and landed at^ Inis Sibhtonn, [in the at lufs' 

harbour of Luimnech ; and the chief part of Mumhain Sibhtonn, 

A.D. 922. 

was ravaged by them, both churches and chieftainries. 
Lorcan, son of Conlifjan, was king: of Caisel at that time. 

XXXIV. There came after that a fleet on Loch Derg- The 
derc, and they plundered Inis Celtra, and they drowned Lo^ch Derg 
its shrines, and its relicks, and its books ; and they plun- the Shan- 
dered Muc-Inis of RiagaU'^ and the churches of Derg- lq^/j^jj j^ge 
derc ; and they plundered Tir-da-glas, and Lothra, and plundered, 
Cluain-Ferta, and Cluain-mic-nois, and Inis Clothrami, Meathand 
and Inis-bo-finne, and the chui'ches of Loch E,ibh, in like ®°"*^ ^°^' 


manner ; and the west of Midhe and the south of Con- a.D. 922. 
nacht ; and they killed Duach, king of Aidhne,^ and num- 
bers of others ; and they aiTÍved safely again at Luinmech, 
without battle or conflict. 

Tliese were the mighty deeds'* of the sons of Elge, and 
of the ships of Ath Cliath, in Leth Cuinn and in Laighin. 
But theii' plunders, and their battles, and their conflicts, 
are not fully in recollection, and are not eniunerated in 

XXXV. We proceed now to relate here the history of History of 
the [men of] Mimihain and of the sons of Imar, for they ^ alone ^^ Mui^ter. 
sustained half the troubles and oppressions of all Erinn. 

The Earl, Oiter Dubh,^ came with an hundred ships to 

2 Muc-Inis of Riaghall : i.e., the Hog 
Island of St. Riaghall or Regulus. 
For a curioits series of errors about 
this island, see Dr. O'Donovan's valua- 
ble note, Four M., A.D. 743, p. 345. 

3 Duach, King of Aidline. This is 
probably the same person who is called 
by the Four M. "Maol mic Duaicli, 
lord of Aidhne," and who they say was 
slain by the foreigners A.D. 920 [922]. 

* The mighty deeds. This summary 
marks the termination of a first part 

or division of the work, in which the 
author has collected whatever he covild 
find recorded of the deeds of the pirates 
in all parts of Ireland. The remainder 
treats almost exclusively of their ra- 
vages in Munster. 

^ For they : i.e., the men of Mumhain 
or Munster. 

6 Oiter Duhh, Oiter or Otter, the 
Black, We have had mention in 
chapter xxviii., of the arrival of an 
Earl Otter, at Loch da Caech [Water- 


co^ccoti sa:e"oíiel r& ^ccllocibli. 

Earl Otter 
the Black, 
arrives at 

Names of 
the princi- 
pal chief- 
tains who 

The rav- 
ages com- 
mitted by 
them in 

Laiji^e, ociif i"io hm-niKCD leif cniiref. muman, octif a 
T)eifceiir, ocu]^ iio rmjiBiii po cam, ociif po leillpine 
gall tiile KIT), ociif 110 coccctiB a ciof ino^'oa poixyxa. "Do 
lioiiax» TiluiTia mle "do rola eiuroBail, ociif "do muyi- 
bjiiicT: "Diaifneifi lon^, ociip lai-oen^, ociip coBlac, conac 
liai15e ctian, ncc cctlct-bpoiiT:, no T)Íiii, noT)ain5en, no "01115110 
1 muiTiain mle gan loni^eaf T)aniTiqiccach ocuf all- 
in tip-ach. 

XXXVI. 'oaimcc ami arn lom^ef OibeiiD, ociif loni^ep 
Odhiitd, ociif lonigef ^iiippin, ocuf loni^ef Snucrc^aip.e, 
ocuy loiii^ef La^ininiTD, ocnp loin^ef e-|iinlb, ocup 
loingep Siqiuica, ocuf loinv;ep OiiiT)niii, ocuf loin^ef 
OiinTDiii, ocuf loin^ep Lia^iiiflac, ociif loin^ef 'Coiyi- 
bea]iT)ai§, ocup loin^ep 6oan bapun, ocuy lom^ep illiliT» 
Oiiii, ocuf loingep Siinnni, ociip loin^ep -8110111111, ocup 
loin^ef na h1n|iiie Rnai-oe ya 'oeoig. Cit) zya act: iiopa-o 
iieiiiiii olc "Da ppuaip Cipe 1 iicrfpe^aT) mlc 11a peT)iia fin. 
Ho liinDpaT) an munni mle 50 coircionn leo pin ay. 
^ac lez, ocup po baipccex». Ocnp po pccaoilpioi: pon 
Tnmnain, ociip T)0 ponaioo -Dinn, ocup Dainpie, ocup 
calaDpmpi: no Cpinn mle, co na paibe lonaD in Opinn 
gan lom^ep lion map t)0 'oanniapccacait), ocnp T)allniup- 
choib ann ; con-oepnpcrc pepann cpeice, ocnp cloi 'Dim, ocup 
pop^abala 50 poipleran, ocnp -go coircenn [di] ; ocnp po 
aipccpiot: a ruoca, ocnp a ccella ca-oaip, ocnp a neimexja, 
ocup po pccaoilpec a pcpine, ocup a mionna, ocup a 
luibpa. Ro T)ilaiT:piccpiOT: a T^rempln caemu cumTiac- 
va, T)oi5 ni paibe caDup, no onoip, no comaipce, ccg 
repmonn, no anacal "do cill no T)0 neimex», -do "Dia, no 

ford harbour], who afterwards went to 
Scotland and was killed in battle there 
by Constantine III., A.D. 916 (chap. 
xxix., and note -, p. 34). The Otter 
Dubh here mentioned settled at Port 
Lairge, another name for Waterford, 
and this naturally leads us to suspect 
that he is the same as the Earl Otter 
of chap, xxviii. 

^ A Dun. The words here used, 
Bun, Daimjen, Dingna, all signify a fort 

or fortress. It is not easy to define the 
precise difference between them. Dun, 
is in Scotland Doon ; in Wales, Din ; in 
Gaulish, dmon; Latinized, dunum, as in 
Lug-dunum, Augusto-dunum, &c. ; in 
England, ton, town. It seems to sig- 
nify a fortified hill or mound. Daingen 
(dungeon) is a walled fort or strong 
tower ; hence duingnigim, I fortify. — 
Dingna, is apparently only another form 
of the same ivord. Cf. Zeiiss, p. 30 n. 



Port Laii'ge, and the east of Mumliain was pliuidered by Earl otter 
him, and its south ; and he put all imder tribute and ser- ^^^.^^''^ck, 

' ' Í arrives at 

vice to the foreigners ; and he levied his royal rent upon Waterford. 
them. The whole of Mumhain became filled with im- 
mense floods, and countless sea-vomitings of ships, and 
boats, and fleets, so that there was not a harbour, nor a 
landing-port, nor a Dun, ' nor a fortress, nor a fastness, in 
all Mumhain, without fleets of Danes and pirates.^ 

XXXVI. There came there, also, the fleet of Oiberd, Names of 
and the fleet of Oduinn, and the fleet of Griflin, and the JJ^J E^'^ 
fleet of Snuatgar, and the fleet of Lagmann, and the tains who 
fleet of Erolf, and the fleet of Sitriuc, and the fleet of )(}^gtgj. 
Buidnin, and the fleet of Birndin, and the fleet of Lia- 
grislach, and the fleet of Toirberdach, and the fleet of 
Eoan Barim, and the fleet of Milid Buu, and the fleet of 
Suimin, and the fleet of Suainin, and lastly the fleet of the 
Inghen Ruaidh.^ And assuredly the evil which Erinn had 
hitherto suflered was as nothing compared to the evil 
inflicted by these parties. The entire of Mumhain, with- The rav- 
out distinction, was plmidered by them, on all sides, and "ges com- 
devastated. And they spread themselves over Mumhain ; them in 
and they built Dims, and fortresses, and landing-ports, funster. 
over all Erinn, so that there was no place in Erinn with- 
out numerous fleets of Danes and pirates ; so that they 
made spoil-land, and sword-land, and conquered-land of 
her, throughout her breadth, and generally ; and they rav- 
aged her chieftainries, and her privileged churches, and 
her sanctuaries'' ; and they rent her shrines, and her reh- 
quaries, and her books. They demolished her beautiful or- 
namented temples ; for neither veneration, nor honour, nor 
mercy for Termomi,^ nor protection for church, or for sanc- 

2 Danes and pirates. The words here 
used are "Danmaificcach (Denmar- 
kians), and allmup,ac1i, foreigners 
who come from beyond the sea, bar- 
barians, pirates. 

3 Inghen Ruaidh : i.e., the red-haired 

^Sanctuaries. IJeimex), a temple, 

a sanctuary (nemeT), gl. sacellum. 
Zeuss, p. 11, old Bret, nemec, silva. 
ib. p. 102, 186), glebe land. Gaulish, 
nemeton. See Petrie's Eccles. Architect, 
of Ireland, p. 58-6-1. 

5 Termonn. The Termonn lands were 
districts in connexion Math the churches 
possessing the right of sanctuary and 


cosccT)li scceT)1iel no ^ccllccibli. 

•00 -Dtiine, c(5 an -01101115 ^toiniitfuii glipiDis ^einncli'De 
aimqimqirail; ainiaiiT)a fin. Cit) ■c\\a acx: 50 naifim- 
ciof gainein mafia, no peyi pof pai^e, no |ierclanT)a 
nime, ni hufa a T:iiifioni, no a aiyieni, no a innifin, in jio 
•po-oaiiTifiOT: ^aoi'Dil mle co coircionn ; ^z\]i piofiii, ocuf 
mna, loif niaca ocuf in^ena, ocuf laoca ocuf cleiiiciu, 
enp. faefa ocuf Daep a, en^a p ena ocuf ócca, ro ccqa ocuf 
vo mfcaiffi, 7)0 -Docaf, ociif 'Decconina|iT: nairilj. Cit» 
qaa acx: fo mairibfaT: 111 05a, ocuf raoifif, laio^-Danina, 
ocuf p,i05plara Op enn. Ro inaf bp ac T:yieoin, ocuf ryiei- 
oll, ociif T:|ien mile-oa, anjiaix), ocup ampai^, ociif oicc- 
T:i5ei|in, ociif pofccla Icrc^aile ocuf ^aifccif) na ngaoi-bel 
mle; ocuy |iof T:aifbi|ifiOT: po cam, ociif po geiUpme 
KfT), 110 -oaefair, ocnp po mo^panaipTA; 101:1;. tnoyi qia 
7)0 bannqiacrailS blaire bice, ocuf T)in5enaib maof-Da 
mine macoacra, ocuf -DOccmnaiB puaiaca pae^a pen^a 
pul^lapa, ocnp t)0 macaomaibh maep-oamopllana; ocnp 
TDO ^anianpaiT) ^aprcc ^níoniaco, pnccpar; a nDocap, ocnp 
1 nT)aipe ■cap paipp^e lecain^laip leo. "Ucan ! ba bionTDa 
ocnp ba mime jpiKroa j^lana ^le^apca 50 pliuc -oep- 
pa-oac -Diil^ac "Doimenmnac annpin, oc pcapmin meic pe 
hacaip, ocnp in^en le mccrccip, ocup bpcrcap pe ceile, 
ocnp coibnepca pe a ccenel, ocnp pe a naicmi. 
Victory of XXXVII. PS pc loin;5ep CCra Cliac pop, ocnp clomne 
*f B^fr^ lomaip po ppaomeax» coc TTlnini bpoccain, t)U iiTcopcnip 
at the ' RnaiT)pi o CananT)áin pi "Cipe ConniU, ocnp pi Openn 
Sne°^ lap ppoipinn ele, ocnp maire in cnaipceipc leip .1. cpioca 
Broccain, blia-oain lap mapbax) ileill ^InnDmb leo. T)i blia-bam 
iap mapba-D Laccin mic ^oppa-oa, ocup] a cecaip imoppo 
ap mapba-D TTlnipceprai^ nnc lleiU. 1p pi pin blia-oain 

A.D. 949, 

other privileges. The boundaries of 
these lands -were marked by crosses or 
other conspicuous objects, and hence, 
no doubt, the name Termonn, Ter- 
minus. See Ussher " On the original 
of Corbes, Herenaches, and Termon 
Lands." Works by Elrington, vol. xi., 
p. 419, seq. 

1 Field. Pcdtce, lit. a fair-green, 

a common, or field for village sports. 
See L-ish N^ennius, p. 93, note ". 

2 Was gained. The Ann. Ult., L. 
Gabh., Four M., and Keat., represent 
the Danes as having been defeated in 
this battle ; and Keating makes Conga- 
lach, king of Ireland, the leader of the 
victorious party. As Congalath was 
certainly opposed to Ruaidhri O'Canan- 


tuary, for God, or for man, was felt by this furious, fero- 
cious, pagan, ruthless, wrathful people. In short, until 
the sand of the sea, or the grass of the field, ^ or the stars 
of heaven are counted, it will not be easy to recount, or 
to enumerate, or to relate what the Gaedhil all, without 
distinction, suffered from them : whether men or women, 
boys or girls, laics or clerics, freemen or serfs, old or young; 
— indignity, outrage, injury, and oppression. In a word, 
they killed the kings and the chieftains, the heirs to the 
crown, and the royal princes of Erinn. They killed the 
brave and the valiant ; and the stout knights, champions, 
and soldiers, and young lords, and the greater part of 
the heroes and warriors of the entire Gaedhil ; and they 
brought them under tribute and servitude ; they reduced 
them to bondage and slavery. Many were the blooming, 
lively women ; and the modest, mild, comely maidens ; 
and the pleasant, noble, stately, blue-eyed young women; 
and the gentle, well brought up youths, and the intelli- 
gent, vaKant champions, whom they carried off" into op- 
pression and bondage over the broad green sea. Alas ! 
many and frequent were the bright and brilliant eyes 
that were suff'used with tears, and dimmed with grief and 
despair, at the separation of son from father, and daughter 
from mother, and brother from brother, and relatives from 
their race and from their tribe. 

XXXVII. It was by the fleet of Ath Cliath, and of Victory of 
the sons of Imar, that the battle of Muine Broccain was '^^Pf?-^^ 

. . . . of Dublin, 

gained^ ; in which were killed Ruaidri O'Canannan, king at the 
of Tir Conaill, and king of Erinn, according to other peo- MuíJfe'^^ 
pie, and the nobles of the North along with him ; thirty Broccain, 
years after Niall Glundubh was killed by them. Two ^ ' ' 
years after Lachtin, son of Goff"raidh, was killed]; and four 
after Muirchertach, son of Niall, ^ was killed. This was 

nan, and there were probably Danes 
or Norsemen on both sides — these 
statements may not be inconsistent. 

' Muirchertach, son of Niall. Sur- 
named " of the leather cloaks," slain 

A.D. 943. See the " Circuit of Ireland 
of Muirchertach Mac iVeiY^," edited -with 
a Translation and notes, by Dr. 
O'Dunovan, for the Irish Archa?ologi- 
cal Societv. 



cosccdIi scce'otiel no ^allccibli. 

Death of 
king of 
A.D. 956. 

Battle of 
CO. Meath, 
A.D. 973. 

Battle of 



jio hai^i^efGo 5«ill Ceiianniif CoUinii CiUi, ocuf iiucf ai: 
.X. cet: T)0 b]iaiT: ctf. IS fi ym blia-Dmn a]\ incciibaT» 
CeiTDGoig mac Loiican yu "Cuccd ITliimccn ociif iii'Domna 

XXXVIII. IS leo, 15110, cfD^T-ocai^i Con^alac mac 
■nnailmi-15 ]\^ 'Cemiiac ociif OpenT» till, 0011^^ mail peayi 
1TliT)i timi ; T)! iiabi ic poiibaipi po^i Lai^mb, f eco blia-ona 
a^a majibax) Rua'oiai ; .cciin. la^i Congalac if beo "do 
liaiiiGT) cai Cilli TTlona poiiT)omnall mac 111111110611-015 
V^V- V-'^'S 'Cemjxac, vu iDiiocaiii CCiit)1]1 mac TnaDiicaii \i\ 
Vllav, octif Doii'Dciian mac 1Tlaelmiii|ii \\\ CCijigell, ociif 
Cinaié mac meic Ciion^ailli, ocuf maelbjii^'Di mac 
^apbica \l^ Ua ii6i:ac, octif peii^uf pial |ii Co-olaigi, 
ocuf pocai'Di moil oiioen 11111 pin. IS leo, Ttna, po 
moiiboT) niinpceiiooc mac *t)omnaill iiiT)omiia 'Cemiiac 
ocup QiieiiD, octif moc T)omiiaill m'lc Congoloi^ iii-oom- 
11a ele QpeiiT) .1. oco mbliaT)Tio loiipin cab iiemuiTo. IS 
ifiii bbi 07)01 11 T^ucoD cab Co^iioc Cuon im Tniimoni pi 
bin on. 

^Plundered. (Xfi m^^e~za)\, B. 

This plundering of Cenanmis, or Kells 
of Meath, is mentioned by the Four IM. , 
at 9-19, but the number of prisoners is 
perhaps exaggerated; the Ann. Ult. 
(A.D. 950, al. 951), say "ubi capta 
sunt tria milia honiinum vel plus ;" and 
the Four M. give the same number. 

3 Cennedigh. Ceinriei ccij niuc Loii- 
cam, B. 

4 All Erinn. X\\le uificena, B., 
" all Ireland together." 

^ Of Midhe. peifi n&iienii, B., 
" men of Ireland." The immediate 
followers of the supreme king of Ire- 
land, when he was of the Southern Hy 
Neill, were called indifferently " men 
of Meath," and "men of Ireland." 

^ After. 1 aifi, B. See ch. xxxvii. 

'' Seventeen. B. reads, Ocup -xun., 
\o.\u cCoT)5uluch "00 pn-aoiiie'o 

[ixainet), D.] which makes "seven- 
teen years after Congalach" to be the 
date of the battle of Cill Mona. 

8 Cill Mona. Illuiiie niona, B. 
CiU ITIona-D, Keat. Cill til on a, 
Four M. who give 97G ( = 978) as the 
date of thisbattle; this would be twenty- 
two years after the death of Congalach. 

9 Ardul, son of Maducan. Ardghal, 
son of Matudan, B. Son of Madudan, 
Four M. Son of Madagán, Keat. 

10 Son of Ilaelmuire. Om., B. Dou- 
accán Mac Maoilmuire, Four 51. and 

11 Son of Cronghaille. Cineax) mac 
nieic H051II1, B., "son of the son of 
Roghill." " Cinaedh, son of Croin- 
ghille, lord of Conaille," Four M. 

12 Ua nEthach. 11 (t 11 e-clvDCtc Colia, 
B. Now Iveagh, county Dov.'n. See 
Booh of Rights, p. 165, and Dr. O'Douo- 
van's note ". 



the year in which the foreigners plundered' Cenannus of 
Colmn Cille, and carried off from thence ten hundi'ed^ 
captives. This was the year in which was killed Cenne- 
digh,^ son of Lorcan, king of north Mumhain, and heii' 
apparent of Caisel. 

XXXVIII. It was by them, too, feU Congalach, son 
of Maelmithigh, king of Temhair, and of all Erinn,* and 
the nobles of the men of Midhe'^ with liim, while he 
was making war on the men of Laighin ; seven years 
after^ Ruaidri was killed. Seventeen^ years after Con- 
galach the battle of Cill Mona* was gained by them 
over DomhnaU, son of Muirchertach, king of Temhair, 
in which fell Ardnl, son of Maducan,^ kins: of Uladh, 
and Donncuan, son of Maelmiiii'e, ' ° king of AirghiaU, 
and Cinaeth, son of the son of Cronghaille, ' ' and Mael- 
brighde, son of Gau-bith, king of Ua nEthach,'^ and Fergus 
Fial, king of Codlaighe,'^ and great niunbers'^ along with 
them. It was by them, too, were killed Muii'chertach, 
son of DomhnaU, heir of Temhair and of Erinn ; and the 
son of Domhnall,'^ son of Congalach, another heir of 
Erinn, eight years after the aforesaid battle. It was'^ in 
this year the battle of Cathair Cuan, in Mumhain, was 
fought by Brian. '^ 

Death of 
king of 
A.D. 956. 

Battle of 
CO. Meath, 
A.D. 973. 

Battle of 



^3 Codlaighe. Cuail,5ne, B., -which 
is probably the true reading. Cod- 
laighe is unknown. 

1* Great numbers. SocaiTie eie 
uime, B., "many others -n-ith them." 

IS Son of DomhnaU. The Four M. 
record these deaths thus : — at the year 
975 (which ought to be 97 7 or 978, as in 
Ann.Ult.) "Muirchertach,son of Domh- 
naU Ua Xeill, and Congalach, son of 
DomhnaU, son of Congalach, two heirs 
of Ireland (xxi TaiogDamiia 6-i\eiin), 
were slain by Amlaoibh, son of Sitricc." 
B. reads instead of "and the son of 
DomhnaU, son of Congalach, &c.," 
ocuf mac muiyiceiicais mic "Dorii- 
nuiil. Ocu|^ occ mblm'ona \a\\ pn 

cuccttT) ccrcTi ■perriaTin : "and the 
son of Muirchertach, son of DomhnaU. 
And eight years after this, the battle of 
Femhann was fought." The Four M. 
place the death of the two presumptive 
heirs of the crown in the year before 
the battle of KUmoon ; there is there- 
fore some error. It seems probable 
that for cac fiemtnrD, " the aforesaid 
battle," in the text, we shoxUd read 
cat Peiiian, " the battle of Femhan." 
The plain of Femhann is in the county 
Tipperary. See Book of Rights, p. 18, ". 
Cathair Cuan is mentioned again, chap. 

ifi/< icas. I'p in blia-óain -pm, B. 

" By Brian. Tlia inbi\ian, B. 


cosccDÍi scceT)1iel ue sccllcribli. 

Battle of 
A.D. 978. 

over theCe- 
nel ConaiU, 
A.D. 978. 

Battle of 
A.D. 980. 

of Domh- 
nall Claen, 
king of 

XXXIX. 18 leo, T)na, iio hiniieD ccrc ic birlainx) i 
in 015 Lcfgen, -pop. ll^aiiie mac 'Cuacail -poyi \i) Lct^en 
T)U iiTDiaocaiiT, tlgctipe i:ein a^'D^'ii Lcc^en, ocuf tTlui|\eDac 
mac Riain yii tia Cen-Dpelais, ocii)^ Coii^alac mac piain-o 
|ii Le^e ocuf Uecer. If leo, vna, va yionex) cau ele -poii 
Cenel Conaill if in blia'oain ceT:na, T)Ii iDfocaif Hi all 
Ua Cananiiain ft Ceiieil Conaill, ocuf mac meic Coiiv;a- 
lai5 mic TTlailmici^ fiiDomiia T^emfac, ociif mac mic 
lTlufcaT)a ^lun-ffi-laf fi-oomna OI15. If leo, z]\a, 
va cufeT) cai 'Cemfac f e Tnaelfeclaiii'o mac "Domnaill 
fe fi^ CfeiTD 1 ciiTD 'Da blia'can taffin. Oa fae "do 
cecT:af tdb comfiacrain aiTo, acr; ba meffu "do na 
gallaib ; vu 1 -ofocaif Ra^nall mac CCmlaib fi gall 
aiiT), octif Conmael mac ^illi, afofi ele gall, ocuf 
ma€i gall CCca Cliac ann uli, ociif co iToecaiT) CCmlaib 
mac Siufiuga afofi gall 1 nailirfi co Hi Colinm Cilli. 
1affiii fob ecen vo gallaib ofluciiT) 7)0 "Domnall Claen 
'Da fig Lagen, 'Da bi bbaDain illami accti af pellaT) 
'd' CCmlaib faif. 

1 Was given. T)o fyiainea-D cac 
05 biotUtnn 1 muigi Laignit), B,, 
a better reading. 

S Kinff ofLaighin. Om., B. 

^Himself. buTjein .1. \\\ Laijen, B. 

^ A7}d Rechet. Om., B. The Ana. 
Ult. date this battle 977 or 978. The 
Four M. place it in 976, the same year 
in which they record the battle of Kil- 

^ Gained. Ho f yiaomeaT), B. The 
Four M. tell us (976), and Ann. Ult. 
(977, 978), that this battle was gained, 
not by the Norsemen of Dublin, but 
by the Airghialla (Oriel) over the 
Cinel Conaill ; but it is probable that 
the Oriels had secured the aid of the 

<* In the same year. D. reads, iv 
ifin blm-oain cecna. The reading 
of B. has been substituted. 

'' Congalach. B. has mac Con- 
gataij, " the son of Congalach." 

8 Son of the son. 111 ac ill ii n-c ar) a, 
B., "son of Murchadh." The Four M. 
have tlie same reading. 

^ Murchad Ghm-JH-Iar. "Murchad 
of the Knee on the ground ;" ^Lunil/- 
?.aia, Four M., which Dr. O'Conor 
translates as if it were "gluii ■piotlaiix, 
Genu aquilcB, " Murchad of the Eagle 
Knee," Eer. Hib. Script, iii., p. 507; 
but this does not seem very intelli- 

10 Erinn. 'Ceriiiiac, B., " king of 

" Woe. Ocuf ba pi, B. f i is evil, 
opposed to po, good, fae, Lat. vae, 
is woe. 

12 There fell. T)Ó15 "do cuic, B. 

13 King. OCili'Diiii, B., " chief king." 
1* Conmael. B. omits Tlluc ^iLli 

ayxTJixi ele %aVl. 

15 Gille. Gilli Aire, Tlgm-nach. Gilli- 
airri. Four M. Conamhal Mac Air- 
rigall, Ann Ult. " Conamhal, son of 



XXXIX. It was by them, also, that a defeat in battle 
was given^ at Bithlann, in Magh-Laighen, to Ugaire, 
son of Tuathal, king of Laighin,^ where fell Ugaire 
himself,^ chief king of Laigliin, and Miiiredach, son of 
Rian, king of the Ua-Cennselaigh, and Congalach, son 
of Flann, king of Lege and Rechet.* It was by them, 
too, another battle was gained' over the Cenel Conaill in 
the same year,^ in which fell Niall, grandson of Canannan, 
king of the Cenel Conaill, and the son of the son of Con- 
galach,^ son of Maelmithio-h, heir of Temhaii-, and the son 
of the son^ of Muxchad Glun-fri-lar,^ heir of Ailech. It 
was by them, too, was fought the battle of Temhair 
against Maelsechlainn, son of Domhnall, king of Ei'inn,'° 
two years after the above. It was woe^^ to each party to 
meet there ; but it was worse for the foreigners ; for there 
fell^^ Ragnall, son of Amlaibh, king'^ of the foreigners, 
and Conmael,^* son of Gille,^^ another high king of the 
foreigners, and all'° the nobles of the foreigmers of Ath 
CHath ; and Amlaibh, son of Sitriuc, high king''' of the 
foreigners, went on a pilgiimage to Hi of Colum Cille.'^ 
After this the foreigners were compelled to liberate 
DomhnaU Claen, king of Laighin, who had been a year 
in their custody, after Amlaibh's treacherous conduct'^ 
towards him. 

Battle of 
A.D. 978. 

over theCe- 
nel Conaill, 
A.D. 978. 

Battle of 
A.D. 980. 

of Domh- 
nall Claen, 
king of 

Arregal," or rather " son of the Air-ri 
[sub-king] of the foreigners." This 
latter reading is probably correct, and 
was easily corrupted into Ardri gall, 
" high king of foreigners.'' The names. 
Conmael [the old Gaulish Cunomaglos] 
and Gilh are decidedly Celtic. 

IS All. B. omits aiTD uLi ocMf. 

1'^ High hing. B. omits ayi-DTT.! j;aM. 

18 To HI Colum Cille. B. reads, co 
111 Coluim Cilte laix'pn ; ocu-p T)ob 
écan "DO gall/aitj, jc : " To Hi Co- 
luim CiUe after that ; and the foreigners 
were compelled," &c. In the margin 
of B. a h^nd coeval -with the MS. has 
written "Amlaus peregrinatur ad in- 

sulam Hiensem." Keating (^Reign 
of MaekecMaimi) represents AmlafF's 
retirement to Hy as the result of com- 
pulsion, not of religious penitence, 
which the word pilgrimage (ail.iÉp,i) 
implies. The Four M. say, that he 
died at Hy " after penance and a good 
life ;" and, so also says Tigemach, ■do 
■Dui. CO 111 an aitjiije, "he went to 
Hy in penance," A.D. 980. 

19 Treacherous conduct. CCfi piuil, 
B. The liberation of Domhnall Claen, 
king of Leinster, is dated by the Four 
51. the year after the battle of Temhair, 
or Tara ; but Tigemach places it in the 
same vear, 980. 


co^ccDti ^cce'oliel ne sccllccibli. 

The im- 
mense fleet 
of Imar, 
grandson of 
Imar, and 
his sons. 

at Inis- 

The extent 
of their 

XL. 'Came iqifin yii^ lon^ef a-obul mop, bamuiimci 
na gac lon^ef ; uaifi m mmc a hinnamail cofmaiUni'p 
in Ofiin-D jaiam, let himaii iia ti1mai|i cqaT)|\i ^all, ocuy la 
x:\i) maccmb .1. la "Oiibceiiti ociip CiiallaiT) ocuv CC|\alT: 
meic Imaip,. Ro ^ab poffai) ocuf -poplon^poi^T: leofin 
in Imf Sibron-D a]i cuan Lnmm^. Ro cyieacaT), ocuf 
110 hiniie-D Rlumu pop. ^ac let ua-oa pin, ecep cella 
ociif T^iiara, ocnp gabaip bpai^x:!, ocuf ex^ipi, ve pepaib 
TTIiiman uli eT:e\x ^ctll ociif ■goe-oel, octip po r;aipbip po 
pmacT: 6ciip po ^eilpim 'oiapnet:! t)o ^allaib ocup vo 
anmapcaib lappin. "Do opDaic, imoppo, pi^ii ocup 
raipecu, maepii ocup peacT-aipemi, in cac cipocup in cac 
zua^t: lapi^in, ocu]' va cogaib 111 cip pi^-oa. Oa he po, 
'ona, T-puma canac ocup cipa na^all pop ©pin-D uli co 
popleran ocup co corcenx) .1. pi pop cac oip uacib, ocup 
coepeac pop cac T:uair, ocup abb pop cac cill, ocup 
maeip pop cac mbali, ocup puapT:leac cac 1:151, conac 
pabi commuip ic Tium "oepaib GTaent) cev ble^on a bo, 
na comei]' lim oen cipci 'DU^aib "oo "oin, no vo 'Di^paip'oa 
pin pep no 'oonamcaipT:, aci: a mapcain vo maeip, no -do 

1 Wonderful. Oa inu^finibe, B., 
"more numerous." 

2 Its liieiiess. Oiifi ni raiiic a 
lonrnpariiaii no a copmaitep, B. 

•• Imar, grandson of Imar. La hCCtii- 
LaiU tiioi\ ua nloinaiYi, B., "with 
Amhlaibh the Great,grandson of Imar." 

4 With three sons. La a cyii mac- 
caibpein, B., "with his three sons." 

5 Dvhhcend. La "DuiBgiiiT), ocup 
Cu-allaij, ocup CCtxalr, B. : "With 
Dubhginn [Black head], and Cu-al- 
laigh [Wild dog], and Aralt [Harold]." 

^ Sons of Imar Om., B. 

7 Landed. Ro ^abaT) popax), B., 
"they took rest," or "stopped." It 
is remarkable that this great fleet is 
not mentioned in the Annals. 

8 Sihtond. SipcoiTD, B. 

9 Mumliain. \w ci'p, teo, ocup 
Tiluiiia uile a^^ j;ac tec, B. : "The 
country was ravaged and plundered 

by them, and all Mumhain on every 
side." tla'oapiii. Om., B. 

i" Levied. Ro 5abpac eiT)i^eT)a 
peifi mumain ice^i 5alla ocup ^ai- 
"oeata, B. : " They took hostages from 
the men of Munster, whether Gaill or 
Gaedhil." Meaning by Gaill the fo- 
reigners who had previously settled in 
Munster, and had come to be regarded 
as " men of Munster," so that the new 
invaders did not distinguish between 
them and the native Irish. The next 
clause ocup |io caiiabii[\ . . . . laiii pin, 
is omitted in B. CCnmaiacail), is for 
"Danmaixcailj (the aspirated initial 
"D omitted), Denmarkians or Danes. 

11 He ordained. B. adds CCmlaoibli, 
"AmlafF ordained." D. had made 
no mention of Amlaff, but of " Imar, 
grandson of Imar;" and, therefore, in 
the text, "he" must mean Imar, the 
leader of the expedition. 



XL. There came after that an immensely great fleet, 
more wonderful^ than all the other fleets, (for its equal or 
its hkeness^ never before came to Erinn,) with Imar, 
grandson of Imar,^ chief king of the foreigners, and with 
thi'ee sons,* viz., Dubhcenn,^ and Cu-allaidh, and Aralt, 
sons of Imar.^ These landed^ and encamped in Inis- 
Sibtond,^ ÍQ the harbour of Luimnech. Mumhain^ was 
plundered and ravaged on all sides by them, both chm-ches 
and chieftaimies, and they levied' ° pledges and hostages 
from all the men of Mumhain, both Gaill and Gaedhil ; 
and they aftei-wards brought them imder indescribable 
oppression and servitude to the foreigners and the Danes. 
Moreover, he ordained' ' kings and chiefs, stewards and 
bailiffs, in every tenitory, and in eveiy cliieftainr)" after 
that, and he levied the royal rent.''^ And such was'^ the 
oppressiveness of the tribute and rent of the foreigners over 
all Firinri at large, and generallj^, that there was a king 
from them'* over eveiy tenitory, and a chief over eveiy 
chieftainry, and an abbot over every chm-ch, and a stew- 
ard over eveiy \illage,''^ and a soldier in eveiy house, so 
that none of the men of Erinn had power' ^ to give even 
the milk of his cow, nor as much as the clutch of eggs of 
one hen in succom- or in kindness to an aged man, or to a 
friend, but ivas forced to preserve them for the foreign 

The im- 
mense fleet 
of Imar, 
grandson of 
Imar, and 
his sons. 

at Inis- 

The extent 
of their 

12 Royal rent In cac cuair, ocaf 
"DO coccaib in cio|^ inio5T)a mo5T3a, 
B., "the royal rent of slavery." 

13 Such was. Ocu-p ba he ■ro c^xa 
iia cioy^a •pn, B. : "And this tax of 
the foreigners was over aU Ireland," 

1* From them. B. omits uacib. But 
the word is necessary to the sense, for 
this was the gravamen, that a king, a 
chieftain, an abbot, &c., were appointed 
J'rom the race of the foreigners, to super- 
sede the lawful native king, chieftain, 
abbot, &c. 

15 Over every village. ITl aé^x caca 
baile, octi]n ■puaicyiec, B. : "A 

steward of every village, and a soldier," 

16 Poicer. B. reads Co nac i^aibe 
a comay^ 05 aen 'oume "opeiiaib 
Gyvenn cét) bLeojan a bo, no coibeir> 
tine aen csyice -do uijib -do cab- 
haiyvc -oa ■'p no -Da annica- 
l^aic, ace a niai^cain uile -oon 
mae-|x, no -oon c^puaicyxec CCllmaifi- 
"óa, B. : " So that not one of the men 
of Ireland had power to give even the 
milk of his cow, nor as much as the 
clutch of eggs of one hen from kind- 
ness or friends'hip, but [was compelled] 
to preserve aU for the steward or for 
the soldier of the pirates." 



cosocDÍi ^cceDliel ne socllccibli. 

\ieaczm\ie, 110 "do éuaj^rlecic gaiU. Ocuf cid oen samnac 
no beií ifoti raig, noco lemra a ble^^on -do nai^in oen 
aiT)ci, 110 '00 "Diini ^alaiii, ccct: a inaiirain vo iTiaei|i no 
vo iiecT:ai|i no -do fuqT.i;leac gaill. Cit) pcrca no beií m 
ingnaif in caip, ni lemra aiiabe|incrD a^'i a cu'oic no a|i 
c( inuobnu, cen co beic ifrai^ acr oen bo, cen a mayibaT) 
ppi ciuz na hen m-oh, mini i:a^a acmctm^ a inrolma 
cena. Ocuf in "otmi bet hinicíu "Don nnunTCiii "ool a 'cua- 
fiufrtil, 111 la no iict^ciT) 1 coblccc nicqioen \\e h^e^wa, 
[octif] a 1^efT:í1l loin 'dó aniail no beié ifx^ai^. Ocnf unji 
"DCfii^uc pinDjium caca ■pp.ona, fan cif iii^Xia layifin caca 
blKcoain, ocuf inci ica nac bi-o acmainj a ica e pein 1 
nDaipi anT). 
The oppres- CiT) T^fia acc, ciT) cei: cBiw caDUc coimc|iuai'D ia|inaiT)i no 
fere/by'the ^^^^ ^^1^ ^^^ bpa^ir, octif cez T:en5a'D ms ctrlom innua|i 
Irish inde- unud'Oi nenfiejisDi 111 sac cniT), ociif cer; guc ^loii-umlaca 
^laniT)! neniiificiiaT)ac o cac oen T^en^aiD, ni raipefat) a 
^iiliuim, no a apneip, no a aiiuini, no a innipi [an] ^lo 
ODinifei: gaeDil uli co coccenT), eue^ipipu ociif mna, eceyi 
laecu ocuf clei|iciti, ecep. penu ocu]^ 0511, euep paipu ocup 
"Daipu, "DU 'DUaT) ocup "Oil -Docaip ocup 'oo anpoppan in 
cac zm-g, on TDpoins angbaiT) anniapra allniap-oa ^lain- 
5eni:li5i pin. Cip ba mop, qict, in xiocpaci ocup 111 ran- 

1 And. Om. B. 

2 In the house. Ipcij, m ?/ériica, B. 

3 3iust be kept CCcc a coimécc 
Tion maeia no "oon cy^uaiciaeac 
allma'p.'Da, gii) pax)a no beic ni 
eccmctip a n^e, B. : "But must be 
kept for the steward, or the soldier of 
the pirates, however long he may have 
been in absence from the house." 

^ Lessened. B. omits the words no 
ayi a iiitolniti, and for the words fol- 
lowing has 51 on 50 nibeic apcig, (a 
mere difference of spelling). 

5 It must. Lit. without its being 
killed. The meaning is, that rather 
than diminish the foreigner's share, 
the only cow (even if there were but 
one) must be killed. B. omits cen. 

6 The meal. CC ccuiti, B. " his 

'■ Otherwise procured. 111 una ppa- 
gaibce aq:ani5 a •pl^1tallme (x\\- 
cena, B. 

** The most jit. OuT) mica, B. 

^ The day. In ta no laaca'D 1 ccob- 
lac ayv aen ifie a cigeifina, ocup a 
Plfiepcal, B. 

10 At home. t)eié pein ipcij, B. 

^ Findruni. tlo •oponn'oiriuine, 
B. "of silver or white bronze." See 
Battle ofMagh Lena, p. 113, n. 

1- Every nose. See next note. 

13 Into slavery. CCcup an -ouine 05 
nac biox) a acpams, a beic fein 1 
n-Doii^e, no \)(i]\\\ a pixúna 'do buain 
■oe, B. : "And the man who had not 


steward, or bailiff, or soldier. Aiid^ though there were 
but one milk-giving cow in the house, ^ she dm-st not be 
milked for an infant of one night, nor for a sick person, 
but must be kept^ for the steward, or bailiff, or soldier of 
the foreigners. And, however long he might be absent from 
the house, his share or his supply durst not be lessened,'' 
although there was in the house but one cow, it must'^ be 
killed for the meal^ of one night, if the means of a supply- 
could not be otherwise procured.'^ And the most fit^ 
l^erson of the family was obhged to take wages, the day^ 
on which he embarked on board ship with his lord, [and] 
he must be supplied with pro^"ision, as if he was at home.'" 
And an ounce of silver Findi'mii'^ for every nose,'^ besides 
the royal tribute afterwards every year ; and he who had 
not the means of paying it had himself to go into slavery' ' 
for it. 

In a word, although there were an hundred hard'* steeled The oppres- 
iron heads on one neck,'^ and an hundi-ed sharp, ready, feredTy'the 
cool,'^ never-rusting, brazen'^ tongues in each head, and an Irish inde- 
hundred garimlous,'^ loud, unceasing voices from each ^*"" ^ *^' 
tongue, they could not recount, or narrate, or enumerate, 
or tell, what all the GaedhU suffered in common, both 
men and women, laity and clergy, old and young, noble and 
ignoble, of hardship, andof injmy, and of oppression,'^ in 
every house, from these valiant, wi'athful, foreign, pm^ely- 
pagan people. ^*^ Even^' though great were this cruelty, 

the means of paying it, he was himself a paii^nei-p [aii^neiy^, D.], no a 
compelled to go into slavery, or else | aiyietii, no a iiTDipn in -jao fo- 
his nose was cut oif." ; 'ooirii-pioc [o-Dimpec, D.] 

'^^Eard. Ca'Dcrcconi'Danisen com- I ^Suppression. T)an1:ol^|^án ingan- 
cyiuaiT), B. : "Hard, strong, steely." cac, B. 

15 On one nech. CC^x gac aen byia- t ^^ Purely-pagan people. For oXX- 
gaic, B., "on every neck." | maifi'Da glain ^enclii^i pn, B. reads, 

'^^ Cool. Innuap., for pmnpuafi, ' allmaii'óa •pm. " From these foreign 
"very cold." Innpuap, B. [ people." 

^T Brazfin. B. omits nemep-gt)!. | -^Even. 'gep, nióp, cpa an 'doc- 

18 GaiTulous. B. reads 'gleop'oa \ p,aice pn, ocup an canppopp.án, 
glairii'De nemnpciT.a'Dac in gac aen I ocu-p an canplaiciu-p ; 5ep,pac lie 
cengaiT), ni caip-riot) a cuip.em no I lonroa ilclairoa, B. 



cosccDli scceTDliel ne ^allccibli. 

-poiian ocii)^ in nctnplcrci fin ; ciqii^crc ailim-Da a clanna 
ilbuaT)aca na heiien-o ilcenelai^a ; ciayifcrc linma|i a 
|ii5 ocuf |ii5plcrci ocuf a yii^-Domna ; ciafii^crc rni'Da a 
qieic ociif qiecil ocuf a -oiaennnliT), a laic gaili, ocup 
gaifciT), ociif piimcqira ; ni raji-o nee T>oibfin imanaip. 
^Viyccacx: no uaflai^ii no hoyiiictna, no in necomneiir fin 
|ie focaiT)e& ocuf yie linmaifecT: ocuf jie hcm^bai'Dect: 
[ocuf] ]ie hanmafftacr; in rfltiai^ biiifb bcrobai'Di Tiicel- 
hx) Docoifc 7)000111 mamT) ofo lim-Df-eT) in T:cmboffan fin, 
fe -pebaf a Uifec lainDef-Da lucomqaa T:yie'Diialac qiom 
Superiority qTebfaiT) caicneiTiac ; ocuf cIottíiutti cf uai-o coninefi; 

of the V , 1 ,v V, 1 

Danish comcalma ; octif a f leo^ f emnec f irlebuf ; ociif na naf m 

armour and 11 c[i 5 nttcloiTi erfoct: ecfaniaib afcena, ocuf af mei: a 

nanglonT) ocuf angnimfaiT) an^aili octif an^aifci'D, a 

neifTJ, ociif a nemi, ocuf a iTibaT)ainl,ac<:, fe fo met; a 

nioax» ocuf a noncobaif inon rif 7:ai'Lc cof ec conDrf eb- 

glain, eiffaic, abnic, mbefaic, nfiof^lam ma'DfeiT) min- 

fco^aic OfenT). 

Praises of XLI, btti, imoffo, afttli ciniUT) ftiaifc faifclannca 

scendants foccneoil fegain'D in n&finT) nafo 0T)aim ecomneft; 

of Lugh- 11CÍ anpoffan no 'Docfar;i inganraig o ciniUT) ele if in 

'Dointin fiam .1. clanna LuiT)ech mic Oengufa r^ific, 

ffiafa~ef "Dai I Caif Oofiima, in "oafa hiiocni aife- 

caif, ocuf in T»afa regllac congbala follamnaif octif 

1 Their kings. Ciayif etc tiyt a fiij- 
■ptccca, ocuf a 1x15a, ocuf |iiT)atii- 
na-ba, B. 

"Heroes. CC ccifveóiii, B. 

3 Not 07ie of them, tli cayiT) neac 
•Dibfem -puixcacc no ■puafluccctt) 
tia liatipoiiixúna fin, no an eccoiii- 
nayic fin te liimaT), ocuf \\e lin- 
liiaiyiecc, 7c., B. 

^ Wrath. Re Tiain'oiaixii'Dacc in 
r]f'lói5 buifib ba'ób'óa bafibayi-oa 
fin oift liiniifieat) an canpo|\|xán, 
■p.e pebaf, 7c., B. 

5 Corslets. CC tuiYieac lam-oe- 
aifipi,T)a, riciieabixaiT), ccixe'óualctc, 
rcaicneaniac, B. : "Their polislied, 
trusty, treble-plaited, beautlfiil cors- 

lets." The Irish reader \rill remark 
the alliteration in the adjectives, which 
cannot of course be preserved in trans- 

<> lieadi/, hrilliant. M eccYlocc, nec- 
fariiail, B. 

7 Valour, flaie, B. 

^Ferocity. CC namTDeiiitacc, B. 

^ Their thirst and their hunger. Octif 
ixe me-D a niocax), ocuf a nacco- 
baiyv, B. 

^^Nohly-inhahited. 'Conncifiebstain, 
omitted in B. B. has men ccip, 
ccailcc, ccoiiaÉié, ea^aig, aibnij, 
mbeapiaij, nióixf;lain, mmj^xij, 
momsyvei'Db, niinfcocboi j; fin mf e 
latgloine Cfienn : "For that brave, 


oppression, and tyranny ; though numerous were the oft- 
victorious clans of the many-familied Erinn ; though nume- 
rous thek kings/ and theh' royal chiefs, and their princes ; 
though numerous theii" heroes"-^ and champions, and their 
brave soldiers, their chiefs of valour and renown, and 
deeds of arms ; yet not one of them^ was able to give 
rehef, alleviation, or deliverance from that oppression 
and tjrranny, from the numbers and miútitudes, and the 
cruelty, and the wrath^ of the brutal, ferocious, furious, 
untamed, implacable hordes, by whom that oppression was 
inflicted, because of the excellence of their polished, ample. Superiority 
treble, heavy, trusty, glittering corslets'^ ; and their hard, p^^gj^ 
strong, valiant swords ; and their well-rivet ted long spears ; armour and 
and their ready, brilliant'' arms of valom-^ besides ; and ^^'^^' 
because of the greatness of their achievements and of their 
deeds, their bravery and their valour, their strength, and 
their venom, and their ferocity^ ; and because of the excess 
of then- thirst and their hunger^ for the brave, fr'uitful, 
nobly-inliabited,^" full of cataracts, rivers, bays, pure, 
smooth-plained, sweet-grassy land of Erinn. 

XLI. There was, however, ^^ a certain gracious, noble. Praises of 
high-born, beautiful tribe in Erinn, who never sub- gcendants 
mitted^^ to tyiunny or oppression, or unwonted^^ injmy, of Lugh- 
from any other tribe in the world, namely, the de- 
scendants of Lughaid,^^ son of Oengus Tirech, who are 
called Dal Cais Borimiha, one of the two pillars ^^ of the 
nobility, and one of the two houses ^^ that always sustained 

fruitful, full of cascades, rivers, bays, j nayic no lomaificyiai'D, net atipo)x- 
the pure, salmon-abounding, smooth- 1x011, B. 

plained, sweet-grassy country of the 
bright surfaced island of Erinn." 

'^^Hmoever. B. omits imoixyio. The 
reader will observe that all the fol- 
lowing pleonastic epithets begin with 
the letter s m the original. B. adds 
after ■pe^mriT), " beautiful," r-ocu- 
manin, -paeifiberac, "bountiful, ac- 

^Submitted. Ro po'óoitti, eccoiii- 

^^ Unwonted. Insancaig. Oni. B. 

"^^Lughaid. Luig-oec, B. Lui-Deac, 
D., see p. 54, line 16. Linghdech is the 
gen. of Lyghaid, a c stem. It has already 
been observed that D. frequently 
omits the aspirated letters p, 5, c, v, 
&c., as here Luideach for Luighdech. 

15 The two pillars. The Eoghanacht3 
of Cashel being the other. 

16 Homes. Tie'^X.a.t, D. 'Ceallac, B. 

cosccDTi sa:e*Dtiel Re sallccibti. 

Their pre- 
and privi- 

by Cormac, 
son of 

And by 



plcrcemnaif ©)ieiiT) ^iiaiTi; in rop, caiTtleacii t^crcnemnaS 
oy caiiilib ro^cn-oi in qiomralman, octif in cobufi 
aeb-oa in rem Icn^^eac of le^aib lain'oeji'Da logiTiaii, 
octip in 5]iian ^laniitiirnec of aiiiT)pennacaib aeoip, 
ociif -pi^iniaiTiinri in cmniT) fin of cac ciniiiT) in OjiinT». 
CinniT) fin "Donctc 'olesafi cif no cam no robac, no 
561 It, no eT)ifi, no iffaDaf, "oeneoc ipin Tjoinun laiani, 
in qaaé nac bicco G-fiti «cctipem, cíct: crcirni nama, ocuf 
cofc po^la, ociif foc)"taiT)i fluctig p^ai cofnum faifoacca 
Caifib pfi Leic CuinT). "Cofeac ccccit viA i ciyi namcrc, 
ociif 'oeyie'D ic ~oct: va]\ aif, ocuf conTDUcuf cifx Cafil 
cac afpecr; T)oibfin lapfin, .1. cac pe fi 1 Cafiul. 
In ran nac 'oénioa coiaT)tif T)oib nnii fin, ni "ob^ jiig 
Caifil nac ni "oib. ComaT) aiffin yio can in fig pliT), 
octif in fai fencaif .1. Cofmac mac Culennan : 

X)le5af, -DO flog Sil Ctii'Deac 

Réincuf cata fluo^ TTItirtineac, 

Ocuf beic ilUif5 •pox)eóiT) 

1c nacrain a nil aneóil. 
til beceftif 'Dle5a■|^ -oe, 

CCct: Cafel "oo ■pctifti'De 

ill cif, ni cum, inuf en: cloy, 

111 halrftim, ni hmff otuif. 

XLII. 1f ma'oaba faifcacca in ciniT) fin fof focan 
in filiT) ociif intJaiiT) oUtnii Gfenx» ocuf CClban .1. Ctian 
Locan : 

1 TJie shining. B. omits the passage 
beginning in cofi cai-oleacb, line 1, 
and ending cimti'D fin, line 5. Also 
the words no geiti, no eDifii, no 
iTf\iaaT)r[f, lines 6, 7. 

"So long as. CCciif on rp.or;, B. 
The meaning is, that they were bound 
as equals, not as subjects, to recognise 
the right of the existing sovereign, and 
to defend him from aggression. CCciciu 
is recognition ; the modem Irish equiva- 
lent would be ccDtriait. 

^ A'ot theirs: i.e., -when the supreme 

king of Ireland was not of their family- 
B. reads CCcuf an ■c]\át nac bia 
©■ilfie aca péin, gan uaca ace cofcc 
•pojla, ociif f ociiaice f IÓ15, 7c. 

* Returning. CC5 cocc eif ce cap,- 
aif, B. 

^Alternate right. ConTDUCCUf ceiific 
Coifit gac lie T:eacc Tioib layifin ó 
Yiig Caifil; ocuf an can nac ■oem- 
tn\i, yc, B. 

6 It was of this. ConiT) ai^xe f m, B. 

"> Sage historian. CCn cf aoi cf ean- 



the rule and sovereignty of Erinn ; the shining^ splendid 
tower above the choice lights of the ponderous earth ; and 
the clear fountain, the sparkling fu-e, above the most 
brilliant precious gems; and the bright radiating sun, 
above the noble stars of the sky and the firmament, was 
this tribe above all other tribes in Eiinn. 

This is a tribe from whom it was never lawful to levy Their pre- 
rent or tribute, or pledge, or hostage, or fostership fee, anTpri^- 
by any one in the world ever, so long as^ Erinn was not leges. 
theirs^ ; but they were bound to give recognition only, and 
to check aggression, and supply numerous forces to main- 
tain the freedom of Caisel against Leth Cuinn. To them 
belonged the lead in entering an enemy's country, and the 
rere on retui^ning* ; and besides this they had an equal 
alternate right'^ to Caisel, viz., an alternate king in Caisel. 
Whenever these conditions were not justly observed to 
them the king of Caisel had no legal claim to anything 
from them. And it was of this^ the royal poet and sage Celebrated 
historian'^ Cormac, son of Culennan, said : ^y Cormac, 

' son of 

It is the privilege of the host of Lughaid's race, 

To lead^ the battalions of the hosts of Mumhain, 

And afterwards to be^ in the rere 

In coming'" from a hostUe land. 
It is not fealty' ' that is required of them, 

But to preserve the freedom' ^ of Caisel ; 

It is not'^ rent, it is not ti'ibute, as hath been heard ; 

It is not fosterage nor fostership fees. 

XLII. It was on'* the noble career of that tribe also And by 
that the poet and chief sage of Erinn and Alba, Cuan Q^L^^iian 
O'Lochan, said : 

cu-Da, B. The first quatrain of the 
following verses is quoted by Keating, 
(p. 608, Curry's MS.), but they are 
not by him attributed to Cormac. 

8 To lead. Keating reads |>irieac- 
riujaT) cat, " to aiTay the battle." 

9 And to be. Omf a 15eic, B. 

10 In coming. CCc coi'óecc a cilfi 

aiiieoil, B. CC cp-iocaib ana aineóil, 

^^ Fealty. Lit. Hostageship. 

12 Freedom. T)o i^ocifiaicce, B. 

^^ It is not. Mo ci-p no cam, B. ; 
and in the next verse also B. has no 
for ni, "or" for "nor." 

" On. For ma B. reads ini. 


co^ccDti scceT)liel ne ^ccllccibli. 

"CC *Oail Cai|" ^f calma fin 
Robiiaif Oanba comblaiT» 
T)uixfanT) nab t)iyi laca lifi 
^z becca pp. ipai|i -pail. 

pcrca Tomz icceccax) caic, 
1n lee fecraiifi ni bcrc ^leiD, 
Ocuf ni genai^a fo ^ifiein, 
tJac gebnaif geill ucc bangeill. 

CiT) in cjiccé na|x tame plait 
Uaib a]\, 0]\mv a'p,bi\iteich 
CCcc na cinT) ceim X)ai(i ceipic 
■Moco coemnacbaiift neyxc neich. 

CiT) T)na ace, ni ba miaT) menman, ocuf nip. baDap 
cticniT) lap inT)apnfinaiT) "oem "DUilamg "Dipecpa pm, ocup 
Ictpin gamanpaiT) ^epcrca gapra ^cclai^ ^mniai^ ^aip^- 
beoDct pin, memnai^ mop ai^enrcti^ pin, nap OTDaim 
anpoppan no ecomnepr; ó pig t)o pigaib OpenT), ocup 
ni nam a on acr; ni poaT)aim giallup no eTdpeacr poT)- 
macT:ain "Doepi "Docaip ó -oanapaib, ocup ó "oibepgaib 
T)ol5i Dtipcpi'Decriaib ap anneóin ni poT)aimpeT:. 

XLIII. OaDap, "ona, ic pT:nipaT) ocup ic pollomnup 
in cmiD pin, "oa rmp cpoT^a coiTinepT;a comcalma, va 
andBnan, Iq^q^ lonna Icrappaca Uifemapa, va comlaiT) cam, T>a 

sous 0Í ^ ' ' ' 

Cennedigh. cleiu ugpa, "Da "Dop 'Di'Din, va pinT) aga ocup uplaimi, 
emg ocup egnuma bpo^a ocup bpigi bagi, ocup beo- 

of Math- 

1 Elustiious. Lit. " -with fame." 
Cona bloiT), B. " Banba" was one of 
the poetical names of Ireland. 

2 Piuj. "Duyipaii nab-oaifi lecca 
liTi, B. 

3 Your presence. In bafi ppaiL, B. 
First written ppail, but altered by a 
recent hand to pait. 

■• Lomj have they been. Pa'oa CciiT», 

5 Under the sun. Ocwp niyi genaiyi 
Va jiT^ein, B. 

6 Women hostages. 1100 geB'Daip 
f,é\\X ace bail ngéill, B. " Except 
your hostages." This reading gives a 

better sense. This second quatrain, 
in the third person, appears to refer to 
the Hy NiaU: the "distant district" 
(leth') is Leth Cuinn, the northern half 
of Ireland. The remaining four lines 
are omitted in B. 

'' Therefore. For t>W(X B. reads 
cyia. The rest of the sentence in B. 
is given thus, in a different spelling, 
which is instructive : nifi bo mutt» 
menmann noaisnea-oleipan -Dam- 
yiaiT) n'DéiTin'Diptitaing TiT)ip|iecqia 
pin. Where it will be observed that the 
MS., D, from which the text is talven, 
omits the aspirated ^, in the words -diu- 


O Dal Cais ! This is brave ! 

You have bound Banba the illustrious^ ! 

Pity2 that your lakes are not seas! 

Other men are small in yom' presence.^ 
Long have they been* subjugating all others, 

The distant district, which is not smooth, 

For there are none born under the sun,^ 

Whose hostages they Avoiúd not take, except women hostages.^ 
And even when there is not a king 

Out of you over Erinn of hosts, 

Only that you would not infi'inge on right 

No human power could prevail over you. 

It was not, therefore,'^ honourable to tlie mind or to 
the courage, or to the natui'e of these vehement, insup- 
portable, irresistible nobles, and of those sharp, ^ crafty, 
brave, active, fierce champions (those animated, high- 
minded ones, who never brooked^ injustice or tyi'anny from 
any king of the kings of Erimi, and not only that, but 
who never gave them pledges or hostages in token of 
obedience), — to submit of their own accord to cruel slavery 
from Danars and from fierce, hard-hearted Pirates. 

XLIII. There were then governing and ruling this Genealogy 
tribe two stout, able, valiant pillars,^" two fierce, lacerat- °^ "^^,^*" 

' ' Í ' ' gamhain 

ing, magnificent heroes, two gates of battle, two poles of and Brian, 
combat, two spreading trees of shelter, two spears of vie- cennedigh. 
tory and readiness, of hospitality and munificence, of heart 
and strength, of friendship and Kvehness, the most emi- 

tainj, TDifiecyia, more correctly written 
in B. TTDipuiainj, iroipYieccyia, with 
the transported n. The reader will also 
notice the alliteration, which is cha- 
racteristic of the Irish bardic style, -Dei n, 
-Diulains, 'Diyieqia, all beginning-nath 
d, and agreeing with 'Da')ininc(iT) ; and 
again the adjectives connected with 
SamaniiaiT), all begin with g, (the 
transported n occurs in B.) 

^ Sharp. B. reads ngiain, " bright." 
8 Brooked. There are here consider- 
able differences between the two MSS. 
Immediately after the words 5011x5- 

beoT)a •pin, to the end of this chapter, 
B. reads, na fio pvilams anpo^xiian 
no eccomnaixc ó neoc yiiatii, ocuy^ 
ni mo "irto paem-pcrc -oaeiiie na -do- 
ca\\ 6 T)ancc)riaib 'uuy.a Tioii^se xtviy.- 
CYiai-oeaca "oa nain-oeom : "Wlxo 
never would endure oppression or ty- 
ranny from any one ; and who no more 
submitted to slavery or oppression from 
hard, fierce, hard-hearted Danars, 
against their wiU." It is evident that 
this is corrupt, and that the reading of 
the text is more correct. 
^'^ Pillars. "Oct cuifi cifió'óa coin- 

58 cosa:t)1i sa:eT)tiel ue si-^^^ccit»1i. 

T>acra ia|irai|i Goyipa .1. TTlaT^h^aniaiTi ocuf Otnan, T)a 

nieic CeiToenl, nnc Lofican, mic Lctcrna, nnc Cui^ic, mic 

CCnlumn, nnic TTlcrchgariina, mic 'Caiii'Delbm^, mic Ca- 

rail, mic CCe'Da, mic Conaill, mic Gtoc Oailleifi^, mic 

Cai|\iinT) pint», mic Olaic, mic Caif, mic Conaill Gac- 

liiair, mic LniDeac TDiitd, mic Oen^ui^a 'Ciiii5> mic pi|i- 

cofib, mic in 05a Co\ib, mic Caif, mic CCilella Oloim, 

mic fDogct "Mil Croat:, |io jiouit» Giuitd \ie Coitd ce^ cachac. 

In 'Dttjina T:ellac congbala -pollamnaif ocu]^ -plai^nifa 

ejient) fin, o |ie G^iemon mic TTlileT) ociif ebi^i a byiarafi, 

ociif o oUf -Domain. 

Their con- XLIV. Ov concaraii, T)na, in T)aiiifini ocuf in can- 

affainT/the POI'^I'^^^T' ocuf in nanplariiif 7)0 himfCT) poji TTliimain, 

foreigners, ociif ^o\i pepaib Op-cnT) CO co^^cceuv, ^f^ coma^ili "oa 

yionfax) a hm^abail, ociif can a hoDmafeam loi^a. Hiic- 

yocc layifin a mtiinT:eiia, ocuf a pofT:ala uli "Dayi SinainT) 

fiafi, ocuf fio i^cailfct; po poT;pib, octif po pe-oaib na 

rpi macni iT:at;. )lo ^abpcrc ic po^ail, ociif ic pop^uin 

pop^allaib pocecoiii lajipm. "Ni po íepmtinT) na hana- 

ciil Doibfitim, -ona, o ^allaib, ace ba pae 'Docec?:a "oe 

a compiacr;ain, ocup a coma-ocep, t)o cpecaib, ociip con- 

galaib, ocup -do caraib, ocup vo cliaccaib "do po^laib, 

ocup TDO ip^alaib pa cloemclopex: erupu ppi pemip cian. 

Math- tt!p roipi^egUT», "Dna, ceci:apnai -oiapaile, "oaponpac pic 

miikesT ocup comfopuT» CT^opo ppi hcT) .1. iTI crcVi^amain mac 

truce with CenT)eT;i5 pig "Dailcaipp, ocup maci gall illuman apcena. 

the foreign- 

catma, coinineaifica, ocwp-Dct Utec 
i.on'oa, yc, B. This MS. also reads 
ocup "oa coiiila coca, ocup va oleic 
ti5hi;\ae, octip "du 'Dop "oiccin, ocup 
-Da 10.1 nn ája, 7c. 

1 Anluan. All the remainder of this 
genealogy after Anluan is omitted in B. 

2 Of the two. See note 15, p. 53. 
Ipin -oaifia, B. 

3 Sowreigiity. B. reads ocup plaic- 
erriTiaip C^ifierin ó ifié &ifieTTioin tiiic 
TilileaT), ocup Cntiiifi a byuicaip-; 
omitting ocup o cup "Domain. 

* ^V^len these saw. Cit) cifia ace 

oc conncacap, an -Diap pin an 
"Daeiiii, B., " when these two saw," &c. 

^ Men ofErinn. CCp, •peayiaib TTl u- 
ihan ocup e^ifienn, B. " On the men 
of Munster and of Erinn." 

<> And not submit. Ocup gatl a 
paetiiaT), B. 

7 Their chattels. Om. B. 

^ Westwards. Sai|i, B. 

^Tribes. Ma ccifii nuaicne lat), 
ocup jxo 5«bpac, B. " Of the three 
Uaithne that were there, and they 
began," &c. 

w After that. Om. B. 



nent of the west of Europe, viz., Mathgamhain and Brian, 
the two sons of Cennedigh, son of Lorcan, son of Lachtna, 
son of Core, son of Anluan,^ son of Mathgamhain, son of 
Tordhelbhach, son of Cathal, son of Aedh, son of Conall, 
son of Eochaidh Ball-derg, son of Cairthinn Finn, son of 
Blath, son of Cas, son of Conall Eachluaith, son of Lughaidh 
Menn, son of Oengus Tirech, son of Fercorb, son of Mogh 
Corb, son of Cas, son of Ailell Oloim, son of Mogh Nuadhat 
who di^'ided Eiinn with Conn of the hundi-ed battles. 
This was one of the two^ houses that sustained the rule 
and sovereignty^ of Eiinn, from the time of Eremon, son 
of Miledh, and Ebher, his brother, and from the beginning 
of the world. 

XLIV, Now, when these saw^ the bondage, and the op- Their con- 
pression, and the misnile, that was inflicted on Mumhain, gtahS^he 
and on the men of Erinn^ in general, the advice they foreigners, 
acted on was to avoid it, and not submit^ to it at all. 
They therefore canied ofi' theii- people, and all their chat- 
tels,^ over the Sinann westwards* ; and they dispersed 
themselves among the forests and woods of the three 
tribes^ that were there. They began to plunder and kill 
the foreigners immediately after that.^° Neither had they^ ^ 
any termonn or protection'^ from the foreigners ; but it 
was woe to either party '^ to meet the other, or come to- 
gether, owing to the plunders, and conflicts, and battles, 
and skirmishes, and trespasses, and combats, that were in- 
terchanged between them dm-ing a long period. When Math- _ 
at length,'* each party of them became tired of the other, m^akesr 
they made peace and truce between them for some time, truce -nith 
viz., Mathgamhain, son of Cennedigh, king of the Dal g^s! °^^'^" 
Cais,'^ and the chieftains of the foreigners of Mumhain in 

^^Neiiher had they. t]ii\o for my. 

12 Protection. Ocxi\' 111]% bo rep,- 
morin, ocm\- w\\ bo hanacai. -DOib- 
■j^ium Ó gail^aib mayx an ceT)iia, B., 
omitting the next three lines of the 
text to VT1 liemij^ cian, inclusive. 

13 Either party. "Docecca D., for 

1* When at length. CCfi croi)\|ipu- 
cca'D ceccaifi, "oe "oayxoile, B. 

^^DalCais. After this word B. in- 
serts ocuy mmce T)aU;cai|^, " and 
the chieftains of the Dal Cais." 


co^ccoTi scce*o1iel n& ^ccllccibli. 

Brian re- XLV. Imrtii'a, imoiiyio, byiiam mic CeiTDeTDi^ mifi bail 
truce or leiipi^i'De y^■c \ie ^allctib, o^i 51 bee po^la -oo T:i5paT) T)e 
peace with net ?;allaib, ba venn leir net vie ; cit) cac no beii na T:oyz; 

the foreign- , . L-. ■, í^ i 

ers. ni ne no biau T)a Iuit), inno|i|io, lajifm 0|iian ocuf ^Laf- 

lctié T)ailcctif leif 1 poT^jiib, ociif 1 -pe'oaib ociif 1 -paf aipb 
'Cna'DiTiiiman 'oayiahctif. Ho ^ctb ic po^ail, ocup ic poii- 
^uin, octif IC pfiiriyiect: poyi ^allaib po cer;oi|i. In la nac 
"DenaT) olc ]ie gallaib T)0 nutT) yanai'Dchi bax) nefii, ociif 
111 na'Daich nac "Di^neT) "do mv in la ajinambaiaac. T)o 
^nirif iinoiiiio pi an bom polacoa poflon^puiifir; acci 
in-oai^iib, ociif in niani|\aib, octif 1 n'm^ixuiTiaib, ocuf 1 
nT)icelr;aib Ua blair;. Ro papai^ex» leip o "Oeijic co 
■poii^tif, ociif o Gcri CO 'C^iarjiai^i. Ro -cimaiiisfeT:, -ona, 
gaill 'Ciia'Din 11111 an nil 1111 'C|iaT:ifiai5i, ocup vo jionaT) 
T)unclaT) T;iincill "Cjiaqiai^i acu, ocuf lao ^iiiallfar: [en 
'DÚná|iUf -DO 'oenain] t>o '^iiai^i uli, ociip 'CuaDmu- 
main ocup Hi Conaill 'do ^abail apiTie, ocnp -do beié 
Hissiaugh- ppia po'Diiiiin. CiT) T:fia ace cit> no peea, ni bai) mo 
forei'^ners. "^^ aiyiium, ni lio|ifa a en|iiuin ma innifin, afi map-b 
bpian "DO ^allaib -Donopbapin .1. ma -oeppib, ocup ma 
epiapaib, ocup ma cnicepaib, ocup ma pi crib, ocup ma 
ce'oaib, ocup an pocuip t>o con^alaib, ocup T)0 ^alaib 
mm a memci ppiu. ÍTlop, am, "do T)uaT) ocup -do 'oocaip 
ocup 'DO 'opocuii; ocup -do "DpoclebaiD, euc popuni T)opom, 

^But. B. omits imop,iao. 

^Not willing. 'Mip, Mil tep, B. 
Lit. "Peace With the foreigners was 
not pleasing to him." 

8 Hotuever small. CCcc gibe "opog- 
lailj -DO eiq^a-D "oe -do 'óéariaiii a^rt 
jallailj "DO bpeaia|i leip ina pix). 
^ró la-D cue fio biat) ma cope noc 
an é byiiaii no biax), B. 

* However. B. omits lrl10l^•p.o. 

^Retaliate. Pixicbeyic, B. : "con- 

fi And when. B. omits from ocup 
in na'oaicb to La aK\nanibaixac. 

7 Moreover they. B. omits imoifV|io, 

and for acci, reads in modern ortho- 
graphy, aca. 

8 Solitudes and deserts. Imjiani- 
■p,aib ocup inT>iT;yiebhaib, B. 

o Ui Blait. nibloiT), B. 

10 From Derc. T)eii;i5 "Deific, B., 
[i.e., from Loch Derg]. 

11 Echti. e-ccge, B. ; now Sliahh 
Echtghe, or Baughty, a mountainous 
district on the borders of the counties 
of Galway and Clare. 

1" One garrison. Gn ayxup "DO 
T4xacp,ai?;i, D. On "DUnayiup -do 
■Denarn 'oifiacifiaigi, B. From this 
latter MS. the words in brackets have 
been inserted. 


XLV. But^ as reofards Brian, son of Cennedio-h, he was not Brian re- 

• f - 11 

willing- to make peace with the foreigners, because however ^nice or 

smalP the injury he might be able to do to the foreigners, peace with 
he preferred it to peace ; and though all others were silent ^j.^ "^^^^^' 
on that head he would not be so. Brian, hoAvever, * after that, 
and with him the young champions of the Dal Cais, went 
back again into the forests and woods and deserts of north 
Mumhain. He began then immediately to plunder and kill, 
and retaliate'^ on the foreigners. When he intiicted not evil 
on the foreigners in the day time, he was sure to do so in 
the next night ; and when*" he did it not in the night he was 
sm-e to do it on the folio whig day. Moreover they," with 
him, used to set up rude huts instead of encampments, in 
the woods and sohtudes and deserts^ and caves of Ui 
Blait.^ The country was wasted by him from Derc'" to 
the Forgus, and from Echti'^ to Tratraighe. Then the 
foreigners of all north Mumhain assembled around Tra- 
traighe, and they raised a fortif} bank all roiuid Tra- 
traighe ; and they proposed to render all Tratraighe one gar- 
rison,'^ and from it to conquer the whole of north Mum- 
hain and Ui Conaill, and make them subject to them.'^ 
But although it is possible to count' ^ a gi-eater number, Hisslaugh- 
it is not easy to enumerate, or tell, all that Brian killed of ^^^ ?f ^^*^ 
the foreigners of that gamson'^ in twos,'^ and in tlurees, 
and in fives, and in scores, and in hundreds ; or the number 
of conflicts and combats''^ that he frequently and constantly 
gave them. Great, on the other hand, were the hardship 

13 Subject to them. "Do gabail/ [ Poyxba-p is, properly, a seige ; a gar- 
af, ocu-p ambeic occpognairh "ooib, rison for the purpose of a seige. 
B. 1"^/« twos. 

1* To count. B. has Ctd c^xa ace 
ge yio peta a maifibaT), ni hui-iui^a 
a iiioiii nac a aiyieaiii nac a mni- 
iTin, jc. : " although it was possible to 
Mil, it is not easy to reckon or count, 
or tell," &c. 

15 Garrison. O^^bay^ for pofibay^. 
*Oon i:oTibai]^ pn, B., more correctly. 

Iria mbuiTinib, ocur 
ma ccui-|T.ib, ocu-p ina picab, ocup» 
ma ccé-oaib, ocup ma cceicei^naib, 
ocup a)x a]\ cuiii, 7c., B. "In com- 
panies, and in troops, and in scores, 
and in hundreds, and in quaternions." 
1" Combats, For galaib mma 
mema •ppiiu, B. reads cliaccaib 
inioiia nnonca xiw. 


cosccTtTi ^cceDtiel Re sccllccibli. 

His follow- 
ers cut off 
to fifteen. 

sends to 
with Brian. 

His poetical 
lament on 
the occa- 

1 pianboumb páfais poiaqiuaiT) pjiemanccib co|iyiaca 
'pliuccct, a npi "Durai^i iroDem, ctji iiiaiibaT) a iti inn 7:1111, 
ocuf aefi^a ^iiana, ocuf a comalra, co Dub, "Domeiiinnac, 
riiuct^, nemelac, cojifec. "Daig arbe^iair; na fencai-oi 
50 110 TDiraigfet: ^cnll a intinrciii cunac i^abi •po'oeoiT) 11a 
lenmain aci: .ti. 'duiii vec. 

XLVI. Oc ctiala cjia Tnarhsamain abeic aiTilai'o 
-pin, paiTiif cecra a|i a ceiTD, uaiji ba hecccnl ley a tohm 
f\l^ ^allaib in iicrci fluaig ocup pociiaiDi. jiancarap, 
'Diicf, oen ina-D Oi^ian ocuf TinaT:ii5arTiain, [crcbe|ii: XUaz- 
ganiain ag acaine \\e Ojaian an t)1'c puai|i inuinnriii 
Oliiciin, ocuf anubaijaT: an laix)!! : 

Uccrhai) pn a 0|\iain Oanba, 

*Oo cuiTiTifccléo ní tiéccalma, 

11 í tíoniiiaix utmgaif 'Dajx C15, 

Cúiu a]\ -pacclJaif 'do ininnncip,. 
"Oo -paccbuf laD 05 jallaib 

lajx na flai'óe a ÍTlcrc^aiTiain, 

C|itiaiT) ixomlerifac zai[\, jac lea|i, 

llí hionann if vo riiuinnnii. 
Cwnez na coiiiiiaiiia a p\x, 

(£5 a^x páccbaip 'do riitiinnt:i|X, 

Oaix ngleó inafa calma amtii§, 

11 í héiccen coibéim o^iaib. 
Ro ipáccbuf lai) icC|iaic Léit, 

1 nibeiinan!) va]x pcoilnu fceic, 

OiiXTiT), geyx Ttoilig clot) an p]\ 

*Oo tuic a]xaen |ie a tiitiinnriii. 
CCyx ccp-e-p ipn mOyieinnix inbiiam 

Robat) ci|\eaf calma coiiic'p,uai'D, 

^Bad food. More correctly in B. 


^ Inflicted on him. For cue 'popum 
"Dopom 1 pianbocaib, B. reads, cucc- 
paccaifipoTti X)0 bp,ian In ppianbo- 
caib : " Did they occasion to Brian in 
the wild huts," &c. 

3 Country. CC ciyxe "ouicce pein, B. 

* Dispirited, "go xiubac "oeiaac 

'DO! in en m mac coiyiyipeac cfiuag 
iieiiieileac, B. 

s Historians. "Doij ocaT» ven- 
clTaiT)e 5a Tfia-óa 5U|^ "Dicaiseccaii 
501II a liiumciyx conac ixaibe itia 
lenmani po-Deoij ace cúicc pi^p. 
"oecc, B. : "But there are historians 
that say," &c. 

6 Of his being, byiian -do beich 



and the ruin, the bad food* and bad bedding which they 
inflicted on hini^ in the wild huts of the desert, on the 
hard knotty wet roots of his own native country^ ; whilst 
they killed his people and his trusty officers and his com- 
rades ; sorrowfvú, dispii'ited,^ %vi'etched, unpitied, weary. 
For liistorians^ say that the foreigners cut off his people, ^g^/^^^J" 
so that he had at last no more than fifteen followers. to fifteen. 

XLVI. But when Mathgamhain heard of his being^ in Math- 
this condition, he sent a messenger to him, for he dreaded^ fends to" 
his fall by the foreigners for want of troops and forces, condole 

with. Brian 

When Brian and Mathgamhain met in one place, ^ [Math- 
gamhain condoled with Brian on the destruction which 
had befallen Brian's followers, and he spake this poem : — 

[]\I.] Alone art thou, Brian of Banba ! 

Thy warfare was not without valour, 

Kot numerous hast thou come to our house, 

Where hast thou left thy followers ? 
[B.] I have left them with the foreigners 

After having been cut down, O Mathgamhain ! 

In hardship they followed me over every plain, 

Not the same as thy people. 
[IM.] In what battles, O man. 

Hast thou left thy people ? 

If your fighting was brave on the plain, 

No reproach shah be cast upon you ! 
[B.] I have left them on Craig Liath, 

In that breach where shields were cleft, 

Bimn, (it was ihfficult to cut off the man), — 

Fell there with his people. 
Our combat in the everlasting Breintir 

Was a brave and exceedingly hard combat. 

His poetical 
lament on 
the occa- 

vin, B., "of Í5rian being in this want 
of troops and of forces." 

7 Ee dreaded. Rop eccail laiy^, B. 

^ In one place. D. reads yiaiica- 
zafi [-ixanscrccayx, B.] -ona oen inaT), 
[50 Viaen inaT), B.] l)i\ian ocup 
Tncccsaiiiaiii, ixo bi b1^tan ica cuji- 

y^OT), yc, "when Brian and Math- 
gamhain met together, Brian reproach- 
ed Mathgamhain," &c. (as in c. xlvii.) , 
omitting the whole passage which is put 
within brackets in the text, including 
the poem. It wiU be seen that the poem 
is a dialogue between Mathgamhain 
(pron. Mahoun) and Brian ; and to as- 


co^ccoli scce-Dtiel ue ^ccllccibli. 

Brian re- 
hain foi- 
his peace 
with the 

ITlaixbfaiii OoTbonx), — jqiB a ^al, 

Con a ceciiaccxT) riienpe^x, 
CC^x ngleó gun ^^poixguf ni^ft maet, 

'Coiii^Xfeac fin -oe leu a\i let, 

CCia ngleó fa ujxef nip, cyief log. 

"Ciiioca im Olitif t)0 cuicpou, 
Cet) im 0151m — ni Xíáx) 50 ! 

^ajitJ in rixef — i-pn aen ló, 

CC mcfcgainain, af p\i x>am, 

lloca niin á)x niomfcaixax). 
Puc(f,ama|i móf, T)ulc ayi fin, 

X)o gfefmlj TDO gferlaichib, 

CCf, féi) nocaf, féx) fa-oail. 

If móf, ccéT) f.e a ccoriiái)xirii. 
Ro lonnafbaf, ni bf,écc fo, 

^oill "Deificc-X)eiyic 50 poyxgo, 

T)o cuifponi cm luce ele, 

Occge 50 "Cf oTXf aige. 
CCf la-Dfin af, fccela, a fif,, 

CC iiieic Ceinneirxig cnifgil, 

TDeinic cuccfam finn co becc 

Oail af ncqx 75015 ^i''^^ nnreci:, 
lloca biat) Ceinneimg af, cfát), 

14 oca bia'D Lofcán líonmaf,, 

CCf, gallaib na rrocr maffoin, 

Vi]a)\ crcaóip a Tncttgaiimin. 
CCf 051a pn a Of lain bfe5h, 

tloca niafniofrac rai5neaT), 

Til fuil tai'oh na rbinne hi ccfat), 

*Daflinne 56 raoi 50 liucttaf). 


XLVII. Pio bi Ofian ica cuffaT) TTlctrsainiia co móf, 
ociif afbefc ffif coba iriT;laf tnenman, ociif cofba 
laicci ecccif ciniii'Da 'do f]t na conifOffOT) T)0 'Daméain 
"DO ^allmb, ocuf fiat; fof a fefiuTD, ocuf pof a leifc 

sist the reader, the Editor, in the trans- 
lation, has prefixed the letters M. and 
B. to the words intended to be spoken 
by Mahoun and Brian, respectively. 
1 Alone. It is a custom of Irish 

scribes to repeat the first v.ord of a 
poem at the end, as a mode of marking 
its conclusion; and it was a rule to 
make the poem begin and end with 
the same word or syllable. 


We killed Edonn, — fierce his valour, 

With his forty heroes. 
Oui' fight at the Forgus was not soft ; 

Weary of it were we on both sides ; 

Our fight in the combat was no weak combat ; 

Thirty, with Elius fell. 
An hundred with Elgim, — no falsehood ! 

Fierce was the combat, — in one day. 

! Mathgamhain, I speak but truth, 

Not mild was our parting with them. 
We suffered much of evil after that, 

From the attacks of fierce champions, 

Our path was not a path of ease. 

Many were their hundreds when counted. 
I banished — this is no falsehood — 

The foreigners from Deh"g-Deii-c to the Forgus ; 

We drove the other party 

From Echtge to Tradi'aighe. 
These are om* adventures, O man, 

O son of Cennedigh, the fair-skinned ; 

Often did we deliver ourselves with success, 

From positions in which we despaired of escape. 
Cennedigh for wealth would not have been. 

Nor would Lorcan, the fruitful, have been, 

So quiescent towards the foreigners. 

As thou art, Mathgamhain ! 
[M.] This is pride, O brave Brian ; 

Thy mind is not considerate. 

Thy care and thy thoughts are not on wealth, 

Methinks, even though thou art alone ! 


XL VI I. Brian reproached'^ Mathgamhain greatly, and Brian re- 
he said that it was from cowardice^ of mind, and from Pfo^.'^hes 


the weakness of a stranger tribe/ that he conceded'' peace hain for 
or truce to the foreigners while they occupied his terri- ^^>u*lu^^ 

^Reproached. CCg cuifi'paclia'ó, B. 
Lit. was reproaching. 

3 That it was cowardice, '^uifi bo 
clá'p ocuy^ gup, bo taicce tjo, pt) 
no coiiio-pi^a'Dh, yc, B. 

* Stranger tiibe : i.e., that had no 
fatherland to defend. 

5 Conceded. T)áiiiaccain, B. 


coscíTDli 5a;eT)liel ne sccllccibti. 

the conduct 
of his 

laiiicí T)ucai5 a orqi, ociif a yenctrap.; ocui^ ctrbepr p1^1f 
Contrasts ^ ni bttT) é a fencrcctiii, .1. Loiican mac Lact^na -do ^enaT) 
comfOfa-D amliT) ; inri iiac rue "DCfDioiii 11a -oacill "do 
ITlaelfeclaiiTD mac mailiiuaiiaiT) .1. vo \i^^ OytewT), 
ocuf "DO .11. ciii5eT)aib ©iieiiT), gt) p,ifanim|iex) oen cluci 
T>o pi-Dcill poll -pa^bi ITlaip CC'oaii ; ocuf inn iiafi 
leic TDO na fecr caraib comóixaib CCir t1 "Oogaiii vo 
lofcUT), pp.i cerp.1 la octif p|ii cerpi aiDcib. CCrbepr, 
73110, ni bax) é Ui^aiT) TIIiitd, mac Oeii^Ufixi 'Cip^fe' ^ 
fenaraip ele, "do ^enaT) innifin pop; inn on nap, leic 
eppin mil maigi "do Si I 'Clam an Ciiacbil, rpe rap- 
capin 7)0 qii caraib compa Conacra nocop bpipepraip 
peer cora popru, ocup cop mapb .1111. pi^ii TJib, ocnp cop 
ppaen ma-oma o Capnt» pepa'oaic co hCCr Lucair, ocup 
ni bai popanT) no pocpaiT)i acr ^illan-Dpax), ocup mac- 
paiT), ocup aep "oimain apcena. CCpbepr ni mo ba-o ó 
Cope inn po rapaniT) ^ullu apT)Up .1. Cope mac Caip 
mic CCilella Oluim, na o-oemaT) rap na lerenpm, inn 
on pocuip ocr cara ie copnum paipi TTIuman, ocup a 
cfcap'oa apcena, ocup len mo^a eo eorceni). 

CCrbepr TTIarhgamain ba pip "do pin uli, ocup eiap 

anwer"^^ ba pip nip bai aicipeom acmainj; ppeprail gall, map 

po ^ab mér a poepain, ocup imax) a ploi^, ocup pa 

mér a milet», ocup pebap allupeac, ocup a claiT)ium, 


1 Would never, tlaifi be, B. 

~ Have made a truce. "Do 'óenaT) 
coriioppai) umUci'D .1. an ci nac 
zucc "Dpaijiccin net -Dpccicilt, B. 

3 3fagh Adhair. pe-ob jlip a ni- 
meiaeaT) en cluicce piccilli •pop, 
-pccifece llluise liCC-oaii, B. 

^Four days. P|\i -jfie cyii Icf, 7 
ce1éeo1^o anDhce, B., "for three days 
and four nights." 

5 He said, also. 7 acbeixr^ nctyx bo 
be Lujai-D mac CCensuy^o T3ii\i5, B. 

*■ Have ever. T)o T)enat) m pm .1. 
an ri nayxteicc éip ansnnlgennaij 
"00 SioL crctamáin Tuairbil, B. 

"^ Great. Commó]\n, B. 

8 Seven battles. Mo ^uxi b^ip cat 

pofiifia, B., " until he gained a battle 
over them." 

9 Seven of their Icings. 7 "^M^i 
maifib a yxij, ocup cu^x cuiyv a ifiaen 
mttTima la-o, B., "and killed their 
king," &c. 

lo/Te had. 7 nac yiaibe ni ba mo 
-De pociT.aicT;e na 5iollan|\aiT), B. 

11 He said: i.e., Briansaid — CCcbeiic 
ill but) é Cop.cmac anpip, ifio capon-o 
501II ayx cup, .1. Copic CaipiL, fio 
'oema-D ca^x na leiceirce pm, ói-p, 
"DO cuiyv occ ccota 05 copiam na 
m union, 7c., B.: "He said that Core, 
the son of the man who first routed the 
foreigners, i.e., Core of Caisel, would 
not have endured such an insult, for he 


toiy and his riglitful inheritance, the patrimony of his 
father and of his grandfather ; and he said to him that his Contrasts 
grandfather Lorcan, son of Lachtna, would never^ have of h^g'^'^"^'^ 
made a tnice^ such as that ; he who gave not submis- ancestors. 
sion or tribute to Maelsechlainn, son of Maekuanaidh, 
king of Erinn, or to the five provinces of Erimi, for as 
much time as that in which he could have played one 
game of chess, on the green of Magh Adhair^; and he 
who would not permit the seven great battalions to bm-n 
Ath U Doghair for four days'* and fom- nights. He said, 
also,^ that neither would Lughaidli Menn, son of Aenghus 
Tirech, another of his ancestors, have ever^ done such a 
thing. The man who never yielded even the leveret of a 
hare to the tribe of Tlaman Tuathbil through contempt 
ef the tliree great^ battalions of Connacht, until he had 
gained seven battles^ over them, and killed seven of their 
kings,^ and until he had pursued them in their retreat from 
Carnn Feradaich to Ath Lucait; and he had'° no troops 
or follow^ers, but only suttlers, and boys, and idlers. He 
said, ^ * no more would Core, the man who first routed the 
foreigners, viz., Core, son of Cas, son of Ailioll Oluim, have 
been the man to brook such an insult ; the man, also, who 
fought eight battles in defence of the freedom of Mumhain 
and of his patrimony, and of Leth Mogha in general. 

Mathgamhain said,'^ that all this^^ was true, and that Math- 
although'* it was true, he had not the power to meet ^^''^^''*'° ^ 

& ' I _ answer. 

the foreigners, because of the greatness of their followers, 
and the number of their army, and the greatness of their 
champions, and the excellence of their coi'slets, and of their 

had fought eight battles in defence of 
Miunhain, &c." Core, son of Anhian, 
grandfather of Lorcan, is evidently in- 
tended. See chap, xliii., p. 59 ; and 
"son" in the text may, perhaps, be 
used in the sense of "descendant." 

12 Said. Ocu-p acbeific, B., " and 
Mathgamhain said." 

13 All this. "Do i^oim i^in, B. 

1^ Although, '^eyi bo pi|x nctc yvaibe 
acpaing gait -oo pTaey^cccl aicce |xe- 
mex) a miLea'D ocu'p \ie peabu-p, yc, 
B. : " Although it was true that he had 
no power to meet the foreigners, be- 
cause of the number of their champions 
and the excellence of their corslets, 
and of their swords," &c. ; omitting all 
that intervenes in the text. 

F 2 


co^ccT)!! ^cceT)liel ne ^ccllccibli. 



the Dal 

decide on 

and to 
expel the 

octif aiiqim cqicenct, ociif afbei^r; -Diia nii"ibctil leif 
"Dailcaif T)acbail ina lu\vg, cmicnl iio acK'Oin uyimoii a 

CCobejiT:, imoiiiio, 0]iian ni^i bo C011^ 'Doi^om in ni pin 
['00 laa'oa], iiaip, ba 'oiirai^ "Doéc, ocu^^ ba TDiiiai^ t)0 
T)ailcaif nil, umyt mcqib ctnaifii, ocii]' a fenaqii, ocuf 
bctf ajiacetTD -ooib -pern "Dagbail ; ociif nijibo T)iial, 
iiino|i|io, ociif niyibo T)ti€ai5 iDoib myi naT:a)^ca1f1n vo 
gabcnl, iiaqi m]i ■^ahyaz, anaq^1 no j^enaiqn I'ln o neoc 
a|i T;almain. CCi^beiir;, "ona, nqi ba miat) menman TDOib 
in ■peyiant) ^lo cofamfei: anarp-i, ocuf 'penaeyii ryie caib 
ocuf T^iie cbacctib ]\e maab 5061)61, a lecnn can cac 
can cliaiai5 "do ^allaib ^lafa, ocuy* do gcnrib joiama 

XLVIII. Ro T^nTiai 11511: la^ifin an "Dailcaif till, 
inait: oenra-oach oenbali co TTlarhsainain, ocuf p.o 
himcomaiic cia coma^ili baT) ail -Doib -do 'oenaib .1. in 
y^v no coccaT) -piii ^allaib octif pyii T)ana|iaib. CCfbeii- 
t;a'Da|i nil imo|i|io, er;e|i fen ocuf oc, ba -peajifi leo baf, 
ocuf éc ocuf ae'oe'D if imcini -do a^bail, iccofnum faifi 
anorafoa, ocuf acencoil, na poT)macT:ain -poffana, ocuf 
poyimait; allmafac no cfic no a fcfanx) 'do 'oil-pe^U'o 
'Doib, ociif ba 5UC cei: af bcl oenpif fin. 

CCfbefT: Tnadi^amam, iinoffo, ba hi comafli ba coif 

1 He said. Ocuf acbeific, omitting 
75110, B. 

2 To leave. "Do -paccl5ait, B. 

s Had left. Klo paccf oiii, B. The 
frequent omission of the aspirated p in 
D., has often been noticed. 

4 Brian said. This speech is given 
somewhat differently in B., thus : — 
ocuf ctcbeific bixian mix bo coiyi 
'Duy^orii an m fin -do ifia-Da, umifi'DO 
éccf or an a\t]xe ocuf a f enaicfie, 
octif ba -Duchais "ooib pein ecc 
•DO pagbail, oiyx nip- gabfacaix a 
naicpe, ocuf a fenaitfie ó neac 
yiiani ap, catiiiam Tiottian écca : 
" And Brian said, that it was not right 
in him to sav that thing, for their 

fathers and their grandfathers had died, 
and it was hereditaiy also to themselves 
to sufier death, for their fathers and 
their grandfathers never submitted to it 
[insult] from any person in the wide 

5 He said. B. reads, ocuf acbep,c 
nap,. It may be observed liere, to 
avoid repetition, that for apbepr, " he 
said," as it is written in D., the MS. B. 
always reads aT;bepc 

6 To abandoti. CC tegax), B. 

7 Defended. Cof naccap, B. 

8 Battles. For caib, which is wrong, 
B. reads, cataib. 

9 After this. CCpf in "Dal cCaif , B 
'^'^ Before Math gamhain. Iiiúic na- 



swords, and tlieir other arms in general. And he said^ 
also that he would not like to leave^ the Dal Cais dead 
in follo^ving him, as he [Brian] had left'^ the most of liis 

Brian said^ that that was not a rig-ht thincj for him Brian's 
[Mathgamhain] to say, because it was hereditary for liim ^^^ ^' 
to die, and hereditary for all the Dal Cais, for their fathers 
and grandfathers had died, and death was certain to come 
upon themselves ; but it was not natural or hereditary to 
them to submit to insult or contempt, because their fathers 
or their grandfathers submitted not to it from any one 
on earth. He said^ also that it was no honour to their 
com-age to abandon,^ without battle- or conflicts, to dark 
foreigners, and black giim Gentiles, the inheritance which 
their fathers and grandfathers had defended^ in battles* 
and conflicts agairtst the chiefs of the Gaedliil. 

XLVIII. After this^ all the Dal Cais were assembled to Math- 
one appointed place before Mathgamhain, ^° and he asked fgs^^^ks 
them what decision they wished to come to, namely, the Dal 
whether they woiúd have peace or war with the foreigners, ^^*" 
and with the Danars. Then^ ' they all answered, both old They 
and young, that they preferred^ ^ meeting death and de-^^^r^^°'^ 
struction and anniliilation and violence in defending the 
freedom'^ of their patrimony, and of theii* race, rather 
than submit to the t}Tanny and oppression'^ of the pirates, 
or abandon''^ their coimtry and their lands to them. And 
this was the voice of hundi'eds,'^ as the voice of one man.'^ 

Mathgamhain then said, that this was^* the decision and to 

expel the 

enca'Daig nuenlJctiLe co Tnctcsa- 
liiain, ocuy CO Ol^1an, ocu^"- -fio lom- 
cotnaii\c mccugcmiain, ocuy> bi^ian 
■DiB cia comai|iLe -do TJeiTDaoiy^, an 
pr, no an coccaT) iT.e saliaib, [omit- 
ting ocu^-" pi"i^i 'oanaiutib,] B. : "To 
one appointed place, before Mathgam- 
hain and before Brian, and Mathgam- 
hain and Brian asked them, what de- 
cision they -would make, peace or war 
with the foreigners." 

^ Then. B. omits imoYii\o. 

12 Preferred. Robax) y:e\V[\ leó écc 
ocu-p oi-oea-D -Dpagbail-j B. 

13 Freedom. •Saoii^'pi, B. 

1* Tyranny and oppression. \lo-\X- 
■)\áin ocu-p poiiineiiix, B. 

1° To abandon. Ina cqxic, ocu-p 
ma pppyionn yiem, ocup a ccpiioch 

■DO TDllpiliccat) T)Óll5, B. 

"^^ Hundreds: .c. ca^i, B. 
1" One man. CCoinprp, aca, B. 
18 This was. For imop,|io ba Tii, B. 
reads, iri. 


co^ccDti sa:e"DVieL Tie ^ccllccibti. 

Danes from 
the Eogh- 
and from 

of the 
acht coun- 
trj' and 
then in the 
power of 
the Danes, 
A.D. 964. 

Imar, of 
mu-sters his 

Doib T>o T)eiiaib .1. zeacz 1 Ccq^nil na 1115 ocuy inneo^anacr; 
qicencf, iicciii ba he y\r\ pjiimpoiit; minnan, octif pfiim- 
re^lac clainm CCelella ; -Degbiix on a]\ ba he CCeleac 
ITIuTnan, octi]^ 'Cemaiii Leri Tilo^a. ba he "Diia a mun- 
aT)tif ociif a fenT>iiciip ba-oeni. CCfbepi: ba peapia ct 
pfi caiia ociif comlaniT) fin innaiiT)tirai§, ocuf imma 
leifclanna bunaiT) ninaf im an pepanT) 'poifi;5abala ocup 
claiT»im, octif C1T) T)iiaT) no 'oocaii'i pogabTDaif ic cop- 
nuni ya^]\■\ ppimre^llais TTIiiman, ocuf mi Da ua^ni 
con^bala -pollamnaip ocuf plcrcamnaif Giienx) ; ipe ba 
copu faipp DO cofnuni ocuf lappaiD anD. 

XLIX. Ro Delbj;, Dna, -poi'^r^n comapb y^n acco, 
ocuf afbep,-aDa|\ \>h ba coniapb coip, ba hctruipc pa^- 
bala, [ociif] ba buaiD aiplabpa. "Do loT^aii iapfin inn- 
Go^anact;, ocup i(io linpar; Go^anact:, ocup TTliifciiaisi 
acco "Dim na Scicrch co Oeltic CCccailli. T)a Iiiid, 
imoyipo, TTlarh^aniain lappin 1 Capelnapi^, ocUf y.0 
^abaD fOffaD, ociif lon^poyiT: acci 1 nT)iin Ciiip.c in 
bbaDam layi néc "DoncaDa mic Cellacan pi Caipil. "Do 
ponaT), imoppo, cpeca mopa octip ccippn, ocnp ipgala 
ua^ib ap cac lee po TTliimain dii 1 pabaDccp ^aill 
ocup a mwMx:ey.a. 

po cnctla, imoppo, Imap na hlmaip ap^pi ^all 
ITliiman ocnp ^ocDel in ran pin, in imeipneac mop 

^ For that loas. Oiyibnlie, B. The 
meaning is the same. " For that [viz., 
Cashel] was the chief [royal] residence 
of Miimhain, [or Munster], and the 
Eoghanacht, [\"iz., the country- around 
Killarney] was the principal seat of 
the descendants of Ailioll, [or Oilioll 
Oluim.]" For ^'(i\m reglccc, B. reads, 
pyiitiiceallacaiYieochaip "the prin- 
cipal seat of the supremacy of the de- 
scendants of OUioll." 

^ For it icas. Tjoij; bo Vie, B. The 
meaning is, that Cashel was to Mun- 
ster, what Ailech [the old royal seat 
of the O'Neills] was to the north of 
Ireland ; and to Legh Mogha or the 

southern half of Ireland, what Tara 
[the royal seat of the chief king] was 
to the whole kingdom. 

3 Their origin. B. omits n muna- 
"Dup [which in correct orthography 
ought to be a nibunaT)tip], and reads, 
ocup ba he a pen riTjuccap buficm. 

* And combat. B. omits ocup coin - 
l/aiTTD pin. 

5 For their hiheritarjce. B. reads, 
imo "Durhaig 7 ma cyiich bunaiT), 
ináp ma pefionti : " For their inhe- 
ritance and for their native coimtrj^, 
than for land acquired," &c. 

6 Freedom. B. omits paip.1. 

"I Pillars. CC11 "Dajia huairne, B. 


that it was right for them to come to, to go to Caisel of the from 
kings, and to the Eoghanacht also, for that was^ the chief ^^^ ^^^' 
residence of Mumhain, and the principal seat of the de- country, 
scendants of Ailioll ; very properly too, for it was'^ the cashei"^ 
Ailech of Mumhain and the Temhair of Leth Mosha. It 
was also the place of tlieix origin^ and their ancient birth- 
right. He said that it was better and more righteous to 
do battle and combat^ for their inheritance,^ and for their 
native right, than for land acquired by conquest and the 
sword; and that though they must necessarily sustain 
labour or loss in defence of the freedom'' of the cliief seat 
of Mumhain, and the two sustaining pillars'^ of the 
government^ and sovereignty of Erinn, it was for that^ 
they ought to contend and seek. 

XLIX. Accordingly this advice^" was adopted; and they invasion 
all said that it was prudent advice, and that it was gifted^ ^ Ef/'iian 
counsel, and a victory of eloquence. They marched then acht coim- 
into the country of the Eoghanacht, and the Eoghan- clshei 
acht and the people of Muscraighe gathered unto them'^ then in the 
from Dun na Sciath^^ to Belach Accailli. Mathgamhain {hJ Danes 
went^* after this to Caisel of the kings ; and he halted ^-^- ^^*- 
and encamped^^ at Dim Cuirc, the year after the death 
of Donnchadh, son of Cellachan, king of Caisel. Great 
plunders'^ and ravages and conflicts were efíected by them 
on all sides throughout Mumhain, wherever the foreigners 
and their people were settled. 

But when Imar, grandson of Imar, chief kino- of the Imar, of 
foreigners of Mumhain, and of the Gaedhil at that time, musters his 

■ vassals. 

8 Government. B. omits poLLam- 

9 It was far thai. CC-p ire ba coyia 
"DO co-pnaiti yie "oanaiaailj, B., "this 
was what they ought to defend from 
the Danars." 

10 This advice. B. gives this passage 
thus: Ro aencaijpoc uile an co- 
TTiaiYiti pn, ocu-p crcbeYiccccayi ba 
cóiin Í, ociip ba baicepcc pagbala, 
ocu'p ba biiaiT) nuyilabiva pio can. 

T)o loraix uile in Goganacc myi- 

1"^ Gifted. CCice-pcc, B. CCriu-pj; 
-pagbala, " a message communicated 
or inspired by God or the Saints." 

12 Unto them. CCcco, om. B. 

^^ Dim na Sciath, so B. Dun nas- 
lath, D. 

1* Mathgamhain went. *Do tuiT) 
Tilargattiain co Caipol na fiiog, B. 

15 Encamped. B. omits acci. 

16 Great plunders. B. omits imojiYio. 


co^cCDÍi ^a;e"D!iel Re sccllccibli. 

A muster of 
Danes and 
Irish to 
ravage Dal 

refuse to 
join Imar, 
and are 

Others join 
the foreign- 
ers from 
enmity to 
the Dal 

ccDbiil, ocuy 111 inenmanyiaT) iniiibiilT)a T)aiaonfaT:ayi 
ineic CeiToeng ociif T)ailcaif aiacena, ba |iecr; acniT) 
leo fin, ba "pef^ p\i -peocaif, ocuf ba ^al cyii'Di, a]\ 
cabaifT: lafiim na muman 'DOfom lib -po cam, ociif po 
^eillfim gall ; if aniaf baf bic a nun. T)o f onnefra]! 
cocaT), ocuf cenDabac do Denam a cml bic "oon TTIumain 
f 1 f 1 af f 1 n . "Dogn i í ef , Tun a, m of -ci n ol ocu f in of f lú ccge-o 
fcf íTluníian lib cticci, erif gall ocuf goe-oel, co hait: 
oenT^a'oac oenbab, TDinfCT) ocuf vo DelafgUT) "Oailcaif, 
cunac beir pef congbala cinD capaill "oaf pea, Dab 
na DafOfa^mei:, fo cecraf aifD na ITliiman can maf- 
baD octif can apagiiD, no Darabaift: fo cam, ocuf fo 
geilfini DO gallaib amail cac. 

L. Oaraf imoffo fin Tllumain fUrci fifenaca, octif 
ffiici focenelaca Daf nafbail in flnagcD fin. Lucx: 
lOTfiDB nac fabi Dan eon fo maniiif gall, ociif Donaf- 
fax: baiDbaib biinaiD T)ailcaif .1. paelan mac Cofmaic 
fi nanlDefi, ociif pia^fi mac CCllamafan fi UeffaD, 
ocUf 8iDecaD mac §egni fi 'Cinll. Ociif fomafbair 
T:fa in r;fiaf fin la b-1maf Liimnig ocuf fe gallaib 
afcena, naif Dabcrcaf ic raifmefc in flnagaiD ; ociif 
fo fcf ofrii CO baD peaff leo beir ac TTIarhgamam 
olDaf he)t ic gallaib ociif ic mac Of am. baDaf Dna 
Dfong ele if in ITInmam, ocuf cen cob af Daig gall, ba 

1 Tremendous. CCTDbai. fin, B. 

2 To Mm. Oa fieci: aiccneax) leo- 
fOTÍi fin, ocuf ba peificc píiapeó- 
cctiifi, B. 

3 His having made. (X.y. ccabai)\c 
ITluriian uile po cam, ociif po 
geiilfine gall, coccciT) ocuf com- 
pu(ccuT) -DO 'Dénuiii Til ccúit bice "Don 
Tllhuriimn p^^1fp, B. The transcriber 
most probably omitted a line. 

^ Spite. fX mm, "his venom," or 
" poison." The words iin amap. bof 
bic a mm are omitted in B. 

5 Muster. T)o 5níéei\ moyi pbu- 
aijeaT) ocuf móin rionól, B. 

•> To one appointed place. Co bc'tir. 
núenbaile, B. 

"Depopulate. "DicbaieYiiticcafi, B. 

^ Should not be. Cona beic peyi 
congmala cin-o capaili cap, peirb 
po ceitpehaipTiibna in urban uiLe, 
gan map-bax) ocuf 5cm báfuccaT), 
no a ccabaipc po cam, ocuf po 
geillfine gabb, B. : " That there 
should not be a man to guide a horse's 
head over a channel, within the four 
points of IMunster, who should not 
be killed and put to death, or made 
to give tribute and hostages to the 
foreigners." The words " a man to 
guide a horse's head over a channel," 
were probably proverbial. 

'■* Righteous, f ip,beapcaca, B. 

1'^ Did not approve- Lit., '' to whom 


heard of the gi-eat, tremendous^ corn-age, and the marvel- 
lous determination which the sons of Cennedigh displayed, 
and the Dal Cais also, it was to liim^ frenzy of mind, and 
raging fury, and aching of heart, after his having made^ 
all Mumhain to be tributary and bound to give hostages to 
the foreigners. His spite'* was little short of death to him. 
He then determined on making a small angle of Mumhain 
the seat of war and conflict ; and the great muster^ and A muster of 
great hosting of all the men of Mumhain was accordingly ij.^g'jf ^q^"^ 
made unto him, both of Gaill, and Gaedhil, to one appointed ravage Dal 
place,^ to ravage and depopulate^ Dal Cais, so that there 
should not be** left of them a man to guide a horse's head 
over a channel, an abbot, or venerable person, witliin the 
four points of Mmnhain, who should not be murdered or 
put to death, or brought imder tribute and subjection to 
the foreigners hke all othere. 

L. But there were in Mumhain righteous^ princes, Three 
and noble chiefs, who did not approve^" of this hosting, chieffj^ns 
These were people who were not in voluntary subjection refuse to 
to the foreigners, and who were not the natural foes of the ^^3 ^^"^' 
Dal Cais, viz., Faelan, son of Cormac, king of the Desi, murdered. 
and Flathri, son of Allamaran,^^ king of Ressad, and 
Sidechad,'^ son of Segni, king of Titill. And these three 
were killed ^^ by Imar of Luimnech and the foreigners who 
were with him, because'* they were endeavouring to hinder 
the expedition; and it was known of them'^ that they pre- 
ferred being allied to Mathgamhain rather than to the 
foreigners and the son of Bran. There were others also in others join 
Mumhain, and, although it was not for the sake'*^ of the ^e foreign- 

. , , iiiT-vi^^^* from 

loreigners, they were ready to go and plimder Dal Cais, enmity to 

; the Dal 

this expedition was not pleasing." 

"Danaii bail an ■pluaisea'o ym -do 

•Denarii .1. tucc la-op'oe nac jxailie 

•oa n-oeom po -pmacc jail, ocu-p 

■oana-p. bio'oba'Da i-oiyi 'oaL cCai^, B. 

n Allamaran. Son of Allmoran, 
king of Resad, B. 

1'^ Sklechad. Sidichan, son of Segin, 
king of Ticcill, or Tigill, B. 

1^ Were killed. B. omits cp.a. 

1* Because. Le gaUaib a-p-cena ó Cais. 
fiobarcayi, ace coiixiney^cc an crlu- 
aigiT), B. 

15 Of them. Ocvtf onlo jio per 
pofiT^u 5U1X bo peixyi leó beich 
05 illotsariiain ma beif» 05 mac 
bfiain, ocu-p ag gallaib, B. 

ifi Not for the sake. Ocu-p gion gub 
ayx Ttaij gall, B., a difference of 
spelling only. 


co^ccT)!i 5cce"o1iel ne ^ccllccibti. 

A council 
of war of 
the chiefs 

hefcaiT) leo zecz 'Dinf.niT) "Dctlcaif .1. inoelmuaT) mac 
bjiam ]ii "Defnmnian, ocuf "Ooniiaban mac Cocail \l^•g 
"LI a Capb|ii. CC^^ ma^ibaT) na mari fin vna, am ail i^o 
liaiT)fuinia|i, TDaluiT) 1ma|i Lumni^ co flua^ TDuman 11 mi 
er;eii ^all ocuf goe'oel 'oa irifai^i "Dailcaif. 

LI. Ro fiacr 111 fcel fin co Ofian ocuf co 1TlaT:h- 
gamain, ocuf co marib "Oailcaif afcena, aii: iffaba'oa^i 
of the Dal 1 Cafcl na \l^^s■ Ho "Docuifir; imop.p.0 "Dailcaif nil cucu 
moned"™" ^^ fo^ain. Ro imcomafc ITlaoh^amain ci-d do 5enT:aif 
na cufaiT). CCfbefraf, imoffo, na T:yieT:il ocuf cfen- 
miliT) ba coma]ili leo t:oct: co Cnamcaill in na'oaiT) na 
■pUia^, ocuf na focf ai-oi, co pai^if ruf in ba-o incara 
"Doib laT:, ocuf memba-o ct) cor;uci)aif amuf caillea, 
ocuf pojiai^ecca -pop-io in Cnamcaill. Ocuf if anxifin 
'00 foci; Ca^al mac "Pefa'oai^ vo "Delbna TDoif,, cec 
fCf nafmac imcomlainT», T)0 neoc fOffa f abi fcia^ mop 
mileca ap cli cac oen pip, i pupT;acT: ocuf i popiriu 
T)ailcaip T:pia connailbi, ocup T:pi pial cap-oiup ap ba 
T)o pil uii'oeac mic Oen^upa na .u. "Delbna. Oa he in 
Ca^al pin, rpa, pi ampac ocup ^aipce-oac G^ienT) ma 
pemip in ampip poTtein. Cac vi\ i pabi ^aipce'oac no 
ampac "do "Dailcaip po BiiinT» e7:ip ITIaelpeclainT) ocnf 
CCex) 11a Weill, va poccap nil vo pegpa na bagi pin, 
ocup in nanpoppan, ocup "do cabaipi: a pe-oma caca 
ocup comlumT) leo. Uaip piacraTDap pin uli oen 
inai) ipi comapli 'oaponra leo zecz in aT)ai5 na gall 

1 King of Dexmumhain. Tli TTIuTÍiati, 
B., " king of Munster," a mistake. 
IMaolmuad, or MoUoy, son of Bran, was 
king or lord of Desmumhain, (south 
Munster, now Desmond). 

2 Killed. After maifiba'D, B. inserts 
cifia, and omits "onct after mctti pin. 

3 Related. CC T)U 15]actm ayi ixoiii ui n n , 
B., " as we have said aliove." 

* Army, "go f Luajaib, B., " armies." 
fi To meet. "Dionnpai'óe, B. 
6 .4« well as. B. omits -pin and 

" Summoned. Ro cocuiixicc, B. 

8 Before them. T)al cCaip «lie 
in cien lonoT), B., "all the Dal Cais 
into one place." 

9 Asked. Here B. exhibits a diife- 
renttext. Ocup yioatconiaiiic til crc- 
jaiiiam "oib ci'oh -do -oen-Daip. CCc- 
beiicacca^x -fiob í a ccoiiiaiiile cocc 
50 Cnmiicoill na najai'o "oup co 
prticDÍp lOT), ocup mbuT) loncctta 
"Dóib laT) ia)\i[\ccain, ocup munbux) 
e-oh CO ccuccoaip atnapp coitleT)h 
-poiaiaatii cCnáiiicoill: "AndMatli- 
gamhaiii asked them what they would 
do. They answered, that their advice 



viz., Maelmuadh, son of Bran, king of Desmumliain,^ and 
Donnabhan, son of Cathal, king of TJi Cairbri. After 
having killecP those nobles, as we have related,^ Imar of 
Liiimnech marched, attended by the army* of Mumhain, 
both Gaill and Gaedhil, to meet^ the Dal Cais. 

LI. This news reached Brian and Mathgamhain, as A council 
well as^ the chiefs of the Dal Cais, when they were at ^j^g ^.^^-^^f^ 
Caisel of the kings ; they summoned'^ immediately all the of the Dal 
Dal Cais before them.^ Mathgamhain asked^ what the moned. 
heroes wished to do. The chieftains and brave soldiers 
now said that theh- advice was to march to Cnamchoill 
against the army and its followers, that they might ascer- 
tain if they were able to give them battle; and if not, to 
make a wood and camp assault on them at Cnamchoill. 
And it was at that time came'" Cathal, son of Feradach*^ 
of Delbna-mor, with an hundred armed men fit for 
battle,'^ (each man of them having a large wanior's shield 
at his side,'^) to the assistance and relief'^ of the Dal Cais, 
through affection and generous friendship, because the five 
Delbhnas^'^ are of the race of Lugaidh, son of Oeno-us, 
Now this CathaP^ was the king-soldier and champion of 
Erinn during his career, in his own time.'" Wherever there 
was a soldier, or champion of the Dal Cais throughout 
Erinn, whether in the service o/Maelsechlainn'^ or of Aedh 
O'Neill, they all came to answer'^ the siirmraons to that 
conflict and unequal warfare, and to give them their help in 
battle and combat. "Wlien these all had a,rrivedat one place. 

was to go to Cnamhchoill, to recon- 
noitre them, and, if they were able, to 
give them battle there, and if not to 
make an assault upon them from the 
wood in CnamhchoUL" 

10 Came. Ho ■pi ace, B. 

^^ Son of FemdacJi. lilac ■posajl- 
caij, B., " son of Fagartach." 

"^ Fit for battle. 111011 coTÍilainn,B. 

13 At his side. \^0]i cti, B. 

^^ Relief. Ill ppuiicacc, ocup hi 
ppoiixicliin, B 

15 The five Delbhnas. See Introd., p. 

cxvii., n. 4, Table III., Xo. 9, p. 247. 

16 Tliis Cathal. Ocuy^ ba Cocat 
•pin, B. 

I'' In his men time. In a fie, ocuy* 
ma aiiTipiia. Ci-o cixa acc gac -oulii 
^laibe, yC-, B. 

18 MaelsecMainn. Ti] aelpeclainn 
nió|\, B. 

'^'^ To answer. *DoyiiaccaT:ca|itiile 
-DO -pyieccixa na búga pn, ocu-p na 
poi\|\ana, ocupTJo tabai-jxc appe-o- 
niacaca, ocu|^com?>ainn Leo. ifio 
riacca'oap.'piii uile cohaoin lonat), 



cosccT)li saet)tiel ne ^ccllccibli. 

Battle of 
A.D. 968. 

The fo- 





haiu and 


CO Sulcoic, ocuf cai: pica poiineiiic -peiianriail t)o 
zaha^ir: -do ^allaib po iieiT) in nnnp. O'oa'Dcaraii 

LII. T»c( piaccaraji "Diut, "Dcnlcccip co §iiIcoit: xta 
\iocx:ar;a]\ ^aill na conni, ocuy na coiiiDcnl, ocup l^o 
pepccD cau pic-DCf, puileac, poji-oeii^, animn, a^apb, ain- 
apmai\(-ac, epca|i'Demail, eropiio. bcrcap. o T:iicrc eip^i 
CO meDctii lai ic imniualaT), ocnp ic iiTiepap.caiii erop.|io. 
RoiTiaiT), imo]>]"io, pop. ^ctllmb ia]\pin, ocii]^ popcalir; 
po claDmb, ocii]^ po ^lenriaisib, ocup po -Dicmij^ccib in 
maccfipi moi]i minpcomi^ pin icqipm. Uo lenccir:, nnop- 
po, leopoin CO hair aoliim iinineT)p,tiin piaplait; in mai^i 
moi]i ; po mapbio ocupp.o -oicennai- o pin co biapnoin. 

[Oct] p DO bai TllarT^ainani oc piayipaiT)e pcélT)0 Opian, 
ocnp -DO bi bpian ace inmpin peel -do, ocup a Dubaipi: 

in laif» : 

Cionnap pin a Opiam 50 inbtoit), 
CC meic Cemneirxi^, copccpaij? 
CCn puccpabaip puotap renn 
CCp ^allaib innpi Cpenn ? 

*Do cuaniap ó Caipiol cam, 
^0 Cnaii)coill a 'margaiiiain. 
Co xxaxiia nap ccenn ann pn 
Cat mapcpluaij co lúipeacuib. 

Cionnap ap pin bap pccapait), 
CC Opiam ^up m láuh arlanii ? 
CaiT)e bap -jxcaptain na ruaif), 
1iip 'DÚmn a "oei^ Opiam. 

B. The words in italics in the trans- 
lation are added to complete the sense. 

1 Against. In accliaiT), B. 

2 Fierce. Cat piocT)a, •p^i'^sac, 
peaiiaihail, poifiT)eaiacc, ainniin 
fia, B., omitting all between. This is 
evidently the conclusion of the next 
sentence (line 3 of ch. Hi.), caught up 
from the similarity of the words. 

^Mid-day. Tlli'OTne'DUn Lái occ 
lommbualaT), B. 

* Each other. B. omits ecoixyio. 

^ Were routed. Ocup|iomui'Dpotxp 
nagatlaib uiiapin, B. 

6 Valleys. Po slecmncaib, B. 

'^ Afterwards. For -piri iaiT.pni, B. 
reads, ^ax>. 

8 Great plain. CCn tiiaije riióifi 
UlT), B. 

3 Fi'om that time. ílo ma]il3mc 
ocup 110 -Dicennmc m-o co hcrobul 
occ'f pin ■:;o biaianono, B., " they 
killed and beheaded them prodigiously 
from that time until evening." 



the counsel they followed was to go against' the foreigners 
to Siilcoit, and to give the foreigners a fierce,'^ crushing, 
manly battle on the open part of the plain. And in this 
they agreed unanimously. 

LII. When the Dal Cais, however, arrived at Sulcoit, Battle of 
the foreigners came against, and to meet them ; and there a D°'968. 
was a fierce, bloody, crimsoned, violent, rough, unspar- 
ing, implacable battle fought between them. They were 
from sun-rise till mid-day^ striking and slaughtering each 
other.* However, the foreigners were at length routed,^ The fo- 
and they fled to the ditches, and to the valleys,^ and to delated, 
the solitudes of that great sweet-flowery plain afterwards.'^ 
They were followed, however, by the others quickly and 
rapidly throughout the great plain, ^ who killed and be- 
headed from that time^ until evening. 

[And Mathgamhain'° asked Brian for an account o/ Poetical 
the battle, and Brian related the story to him ; and he ^'^'^^'"^ 

_' v» ' between 

spoke this poem : Mathgam- 

hain and 
PVL] How is this,'* Brian, the renowned, Brian. 

Thou son of Cennedigh, the victorious ? 

Did you give a mighty rout 

Unto the Gaill of the Isle of Eriim ? 
[B.] "We went forth from Caisel the fair 

To Cnam-choill, Mathgamhain ! 

Until there came against us there 

A battalion of horsemen in corslets. 
[M.] How upon that did you part, 

Brian of the ready hand? 

How did you separate afterwards ?. 

Tell us, O noble Brian ! 

10 Then Maihganihain. The passage 
within brackets from these words to the 
end of the f oUoiving poem, is found only 
in B., and not in the older IMS. It is 
evidently an interpolation ; but its in- 
sertion is a curious evidence of the anti- 
quity of the original work. For the 
poem was apparently written while the 
feelings necessarily generated by the 
fame of Mathgamhain and his brother, 

Brian, were still recent; although 
O'Clery, the transcriber of B., has 
modernized the spelling, and perhaps 
also the language. 

" Hoto is this. This poem is in the 
form of a dialogue between Math- 
gamhain and Brian. The Editor has 
taken the liberty of marking the words 
attributed to each speaker by prefixing 
the initials [M.] and [B]. 


co5CCT)1i ^cce'Dliel ne ^ccllccibli. 

over the 
at Lime- 
rick, A.D. 

Names of 
the foreign 

Plunder of 

Inneofcrc ixél buf niait lib 

CC liieic CemneiTxij cofcqxaijh, 

Oecc nail benfamcqi cex) cent) 

T)o gallaib irrop hCfien-D. 
If mait co)iiait) a Ofiiairi "do ham, 

CC iiieic CeiriTiei?:T:i5 cneafbáin, 

111 pecif cm til air ncpa ay, 

lloca npe-Damaix cioiiDaf. 

CI on M CCS.] 

LIII. T)iiociiaT>aii oen mccD leo a hcnrli cofcaip, 
ocuy coinaiT)mi l^o 111115^61: innai-Dchi co mcrcin. Ocu]* 
]ioy mayibycvc eri|i ai-oci ocuf la, co iToecrcrca]! if in 
"DÚn. Wo lenait: beof if in 'oún, ociif fo mctfbcnt: ay. na 
ffcrcaib, ocuf ifna rai^ib. T)o DfocfCiraf ctnT) fin, rfa, 
Caffan Lcngneac, ociif Srabball mac Si^maill, ocuf 
GT;lla 'OfBoel, ociif RtiamanT), ocuf §oniai\liT), ocuf 
TTlanuf Lnninig, ociif "Colbafb, ociif Infinr, ociif fici 
cez leo. Ro binfeD ocuf f hafgei) in 'Oiin leo laffin. 
73 11 cf air a feoir, ocuf a T)epiiaini if a faT)laici alii 
allniafoa, a of if a af^er, a heraip fex-ca f if alii 
caca 'Dai a, ocuf caca ceneoil, afficif ffol fira fame- 
mail fiiacniT), iref fcafloic if nam, ociif cac he'oaic 
afcena. TnccaiT; amn^ena mini maccacr'oa erfocra 
ecfamla, a hócmna blari bfecffola, ocnf a maccaimi 

1 The fort: i.e., until the foreigners 
had entered the fort of Luimnech, 
[Limerick], which then belonged to 
the Scandinavians. B. gives this pas- 
sage thus : 'Cau^azza]\ uiifif 111 co 
TnbuaiT)Ccofcai-ii, ocuf ccompai-Dpe. 
Ro inicijfecrc an oroce co niai-Din 
'j\0Tnpa, ocuf ixo lectiif at: tia 501IL 
CO maTOin, )\o mai^bf ac eciyv oif)ce 
ocuf la lOT), co TTDeacax-aia ifin 
"Dull iiOTTipa, ocuf |io Leanaic pof 
If in T)ún icro, ocuf -do ixo niapba'ó 
oyi Tia fpc'iTDib ocuf if na cigib 
1 at) : " They came afterwards with the 
victory of slaughter and exultation. 
They marched onwards that night 
until morning, and they inirsued the 

foreigners until morning; they killed 
them both night and day imtil they 
entered the fort before them ; and they 
pursued them also into the fort, and 
killed them in the streets, and in the 

~ These. B. reads, coyicfioccaiT, 
aiinfin niaife 11a ngall .1., "there 
were slaughtered there these chiefs of 
the foreigners, viz." 

3 Carran Laighnech : i.e., Carran of 
Leinster. The names of these chieftains 
do not occur in the Annals. B. gives 
them thus: "Carran Laighnech, and 
Stabaill, son of Sigmall, and Eda Tre- 
teall [i.e., the hero], and Kuadhmond 
[i.e., Redmond], and Somarligh, and 


[B.] I shall relate news that will please you, 

O son of Cennedigh, the victorious ! 

Little less took we than an hundred heads 

From the Gaill of the Island of Erinn. 
[M.] Well hast thou, O Brian, maintained thy battle, 

son of Cennedigh, of the fair skin ; 

It is not known if good will come of it. 

Nor do we know how. 


LIII. When they came together after victory and ex- 
ultation, they marched that night until morning ; and 
they killed them both night and day, until they had 
entered the fort.' They followed them also into the fort, 
and slaughtered them on the streets and in the houses. 
These^ were killed by them there, viz., Carran Laighnech,^ 
Stabball son of Sigmall, and EtUa Tretel, and Ruamand, 
and Somarhd, and Manus of Luimnech, and Tolbarb, and 
Infuit, and twenty hundi-ed ; and the fort was sacked by 
them after that.* They carried off their jewels and their 
best property, and their saddles beautifid and foreign ; 
their gold^ and their silver ; their beautifully woven cloth 
of all colours and of all kinds ; their satins and silken 
cloth, pleasing and variegated, both scarlet and green, and 
all sorts of cloth in like manner. They carried away their 
soft, youthfvd, bright, matchless, girls ; their blooming silk- 
clad young women ; and their active, large, and well- 


over the 
at Lime- 
rick, A.D. 

Names of 
the foreign 

Plunder of 

Magnus of Luimnech, and Tobairin- 
fuit." In the poem which follows (chap. 
liv.) the names of the slain chieftains 
are given thus : Carran, Stabball, Eda, 
Tretill Tuaidh [? of the North], Magnus 
Bema, Toralbh, Ruadhmand of Lime- 
rick. This reading makes Eda and Tre- 
tiU two distinct persons — whereas both 
D. and B. in this place read Etalla,(or 
Etla), TretiU, D., and Eda TretiU, B. 

* After that. B. omits laix-pin, and 
reads, ocur" cucraic, without any stop. 

^ Their gold. B. omits the words i|^ a 

■pccDlaici al/Li altmap.'Da, and reads, 
a tióix ocuy a naii\ccec, octi'p a né- 
■oaije mile allmcqa'óa gaca "Dctca 
ecifi -p^ól ocu|^ •pio'oa, ocuy^ •pilfiic, 
ocn-p piipióx;. Tugaicc a mnseana 
mine macDacca, ocu-p a nogmna 
blaice batToa, ocu-p a macanii 
niea^ia mui|ineaca. The reader will 
observe that B. has modernized the 
spelling throughout. But to notice 
every variation of orthography would 
swell these notes to an inconvenient 

80 cosccDli 5CceT)1iel ne ^ccllccibli. 

iTie^i i'no]\5lana. 'cucca'D in dúii, octip in T)e5bc(li po 
T)ltiiin -DKco ocuf If ■Deii^T-eiie'D iqifin. Rorinoil uli 
in b]iair fin co cnocanaib Sctngail, fo mafbaic cac oen 
laob inécra -oib, ociif fo 'oaifair; cac oen fob m-oaifm. 
Poem in LIV. [Ociif 730 f oinc ctn file an laif) aja foif^ell : 

celebration ^^ 

of the ^ iilcrc^cmiam if niaic pn, 

v'i;torj'. CC TTieic Cinneiuci5 Caipl, 

"Cugaif na gtilla fa f-tiaig, 

"Don cuf,affa 50 ■SulcuaiT). 
"Oo cuifif af gall 50 njoil, 

■8an ccar inójifa a Tilatganiain, 

111 fcél bféige, ace if fcél becc, 

T)a céi) "Dég, ann -do tuicfar. 
"Do twc Caffan -dot: lanii luinn, 

CC Of.iain ! a euro a comluinn ! 

If -Scaball vo ruix: afpn, 

Ce Catal mac pagafuaij. 
T)o twz ODa if Tiieinll ruait), 

If TTIagnaf Oefna boiibcfuai'o, 

If ba nióf, aná|\ afpn, 

"Cof olb if KtiaT)manT) Luimmj. • 
Ko hinnfaT) Luimneac 50 léif, lear; 

Rttccaif a nóf fa naifccectr, 

Ro aifpf a n-DÚn fe hea-o, 

"Cugaif é fa muf, cinecró. 
*Oo coj^aif Tnuiiiain co Tnait, 

CC mot^aiiiam ! a niófflait! 

'Cticcaif a fi, f uataf reaiit), 

^oill 'Dionnafba a hCfmi). 
Ri mum an if en nayi leam, 

CCifDfi Caifil na cceiment), 

'CioDlaic of, T)0 luce lagaiT), 

Rob far móf a niatgamain, 

CC mocr^ccTncciN.] 

1 The fort. CCn "DUnaiT), B. 

2 Afterwards. B. omits layxfin, 
and reads, po "Dltiirti "Diat), ocuf 
"DeachaTO, ocuf 'Deii^sreiniT). 

3 Fit for war. 'gac aon yi-ob lon- 
Tiiaíxbéa ann, B., "every one that 
was fit for being killed." 

^ T/ie jJoet. This poem occurs only 

in B. It seems to be a dialogue be- 
tween Brian and Mathgamhain ; and 
the Editor has added the letters [B.] 
and [M.], in the translation, to mark 

5 Fogartach. See above, chap, li., 
where D. calls him son of Feradach; 
but B. has there also Fogartach. 


formed boys. The fort' and the good town they reduced 
to a cloud of smoke and to red fii'e afterwards.^ The 
whole of the captives were collected on the hills of Saingel. 
Every one of them that was fit for war^ was killed, and 
every one that w^as fit for a slave was enslaved. 

LIV. [And the poet^ made this poem to celebrate tlie Poem in 

event : celebration 

of the 
[B,] Mathgamhain ! that is well ! victorj% 

O son of Cennedigh of Caisel, 

Thou hast put the foreigners to rout, 

By this march to Sulcoit. 
Thou hast brought slaughter on the foreigners, with valoiu", 

In this great battle, O Mathgamhain ! 

Not false the tale ! 'tis a tale of truth ! 

Twelve hundi-ed ! there they fell. 
[M.] Carran fell by thy impetuous hand, 

O Brian ! thou chief in tlie combat ! 

And Staball fell after that 

By Cathal, son of Fogartach.^ 
Eda and Tretill fell in the north,^ 

And Magnus Berna, fierce and hardy, 

And great was the slaughter of them after that, 

Torolbh and Ruadhmand of Luimnech. 
Luimnech was totally ravaged by thee ; 

Thou didst carry away their gold and their silver ; 

Thou didst plunder their fort at the time ; 

Thou didst smround it by a wall of fire. 
[B.] For IMumhain hast thou well contended 

O Mathgamhain ! thou great chief ! 

Thou hast given, O khig, a stern defeat, 

To banish the foreigners from Erinn. 
Kmg of jMumhain, methinks thou art, 

High kmg of Caisel, renowned, 

Bestow gold on those who merit, 

They are many, Mathgamhain ! 

Mathgamhain !] 

6 In the north : i.e., in north IMunster, 
or Thomond, see last line of p. 95. In B. 
is the foUo-vring marginal note " Eda 
Treateall, supra," which calls attention 

to the fact that in the foregoing chapter 
Eda or Etla Tretill is spoken of as one 
man, whereas here we have two, Eda 
and Tretell. Ti-etell or Tretill signi- 


co^ccT)!! ^cceT)1iel Re ^ccllccibti. 

Dh-ision of 
the spoil. 

Races of 
the son of 


son of 
A.D. 968. 

seven vic- 
tories over 
the foreign- 

LV. Uo op-T)cn^, T)na, marTigatiicnn cc cmr; coif, com- 
ctDcnp, ap'oaimb if a]i Tdi^e-oaib, qi bef aib, af caen- 
efcib, a]\ ^cdl, if a]\ -gmyceiy, vo ^ac 'Dum maf 'du- 
"dIi^. 1f aiiT), rfa, 'DO fonrct ^itapam^ mic "PefccDaic, 
ccccu .1. lini móf -do ^cnlfeccnb nccn^alb i cnocctiicnb 
Sangail unaciiafc, ocuf fiat: cfomcc, ociif a lama 
a^i la^i, ocufplli na fUict^ ^a maif efcuD inan'oe^aiT), 
T)0 fair anma nanjall fo mafbair ifin ca^. 

LYI. "Da fonair, -f a, cf eca ociif aifpii ocuf nif ei^a 
mofa po 1TluiTiain o iilarh^aiTiain. "Da fonet) cfeic 
moif leif pof u ©nil a CCni, ocuf if DifTDe fo nucfba-o 
Carat mac pefa-oaic fi^ amfac e-feiiD. Ivo j^ab, 
imoffo, feiallu ociif bf.aT;ri -do fefaib niuman coleif, 
fo ^ab bfa^n ITloelmiia'D mic Of am af na ^abccil 
fein afDtif. Ro ^ab bfajn "Oonnnban mic Camil 
fi 11a "Pi-Djenn. Ro mafb fviayitlezu ^all ctf cac rif, 
ocuf fo fain .tin. ma'Dmani) af ^allaib T)oneoc if 
cuf CD Tief 5 ctf ^all .i. niaiT)im ^en^iiaUmT), ocuf maiT»im 
in Lai 5 1 Tfarfaip, ociif mai-oim af R"lacaif-i móf, 
DinafDeffar; ^aill piiifx Lafp, ociif ^aill Uimni^ 
air conTDcnl -DinfiiD Rltiman, -Dccf aif v;fe- Imli^, ociif 
T)á let 1 foflongpuifx 111-1 ; fo mafb, imoffo, "nictrli- 

fies a hero. See pp. 52, line 4, and 
84, line 12. Keating calls this chief- 
tain TTxeciW, rjiem milet), "Tretill 
the stout champion." 

1 Ordered. B. reads, a tiaitle na 
lai-oe fin, p-O oyi-oaig, yc, " in ac- 
cordance -svith this poem Mathgamhain 
ordered, &c." 

2 Persons. B. omits ayi "Dmnib if. 

3 Fair performances. Ocuf OTi 
caeriiaef mb ocuf aifi coiiiaifciB, B. 

* Son of Feradach, i.e., Cathal, son 
of Feradach, (or of Fogartach, as he is 
called in B.,) chief of Delbhna mór, 
(now the barony of Delvin, co. West- 
meath,) -who distinguished himself in 
the battle as an auxiliary to Mathgam- 
hain. See chap, li., p. 75. B. reads, 
51\apain5 mop, aca, "a great race," 

making uo mention of the son of Fera- 

5 Women. The word gctilrec here 
used signifies a foreign woman, so that 
"DO j;ailfecttil5 net nj;att, "the fo- 
reign women of the foreigners," is tau- 

^ On the ground. B. adds, octif a 
nTieiinannct ptica, " and the palms 
of their hands under them." 

" Jlorse-hoys. Lit., r/UUes. B. reads, 
ocuf silleatia an cfluai^, 7c., 
leaving the sentence unfinished and 
omitting what follows in the text. 

^ Ui Enna of Ane. B. reads, \io\x 
■a nCn-oa CCi'óne : "Ui Enna of 
Aidhne," but Aine, now Knockany, 
in the county Limerick, is the place 



LV. Mathgamhain then ordered^ to every one as he Division of 
deserved, his proper and befitting share, according to per- ^^ ®P°' ' 
sons'^ and rights, according to accomplishments and fair 
performances,^ according to bravery and valour. It was Races of 
then they celebrated also tlie races of the son of Fera- j-eradach. 
dach,* viz., a great line of the women^ of the foreigners 
was placed on the hills of Saingel in a circle, and they were 
stooped with their hands on the groand,^ and marshalled 
by the horseboys''' of the army behind them, for the good 
of the souls of the foreigners who were killed in the battle. 

LVI. Great spoils and plunders and ravages were now Matii- 
committed by Mathgamhain in Mumhain. By him great 'blunders 
spoils were taken from the Ui Enna of Ane,^ and there Munster. 
it was that Cathal, son of Feradach,^ the king-soldier of Cathai, 
Erinn, was killed. He took the pledges and hostages !?" °í , 
of all the men^° of Mumhain; he took the hostages of killed, 
Maehnuadh, son of Bran, having captured' ' himself first; " 
he took the hostages of Donnabhan, son of Cathal, king 
of Ui Fidho'enti'^ ; he killed the billetted soldiers '""^ of the 
foreigners on every territory ; and he gave seven defeats to aiatii- 
tlie foreigners, in which '^ he made a red slaughter of 8''^'"'^'*'"'^ 

o ' _ _ o seven vic- 

the foreigners, viz., the defeat of Sen-gualainn, and the de- tories over 
feat of the Laegli in Tratraighe, and a defeat on Machaire- ^!/'"''''^'"" 
mór, when the foreigners of Port Lairge'^ and the foreign- 
ers of Luimnech united in ravaging Mumhain, when tliey 
plundered Imlech and encamped two days there ; but Math- 

9 Feradach. B. calls this chieftain 
everywhere " the son of Fogartach ;" 
and he is also so called in the Bodleian 
Annals of Inisfallen, where his death is 
recorded, A.D. 952, as Dr. O'Conor 
gives the date, but really 9G8. 

10 Of all the men. B. reads byiaij-oe 
peaifi tn uTti ain tiite, ocu|^ -do gab, &c. 

11 Having captured. B. omits aifi 
iia gabail. -pein aifi,T)iip 

1- Ui Fidhgenti. tia ■pini;enci, D. 
11« ■piéein'^e, B. t!a p-ogemce. 
Four M., more correctly. 

13 Billetted soldiers. See chap, xl., 
p. 49, and chap. Ivii., p. 85. 

1-* In which. T)o neoc in ctnyxe'D, B. 

1-^' Of Port Lairge. B. gives this 
passage thus: -Dia TToeccinny'crc 501II. 
Ptupc Laiyige cotítoúí. ocuy^ 501IL 
Luimnij, ocu-p -do cciyicci^eu 1 111 lee, 
octiy^ 'o(i XA a poi^LongpoiftT; mnce 
T)Oib : " when the foreigners of Port 
Lairge [Waterford] and of Luimnech 
[Limerick] made an imion, and plun- 
dered Imleach [Emly], and had their 
camp there two days." 

G 2 


co^ocoli Bcce"Dliel ne sccllaibli. 

The Danes ^CClTlCCin, OClIf ]\0 milDCCI^ OClIf 110 loifC Llimiiec pO T)Ó, 
driven from i < 1 i -ui 

Limerick OCtIf 110 lllllCqiD llliqi Luimil^ 'DCqi mtnil CO llCtDI DUCCD- 

attemptthe aiiT mm, ociif CCiiilaib mac CCmlcnb; ocur 110 qn- 

cnnqiiest of ^ , r ^ . 

Wales, but ccLlfCTC jii^i Ofieocm T)0 copium, ocuy ]\o liTCciiDccT) -p.a 

return, CCmlcdb Ict ^ii^ bjierccn, octif VQi jiocr Inictii ocuf loii^ef 
A.D. 969. 1 , ,. V 1 

mo^i leif TJO^iifi, coji ^ab a^i cuan ia]i-c[iiac Liiiinii5> 

[ocuf] jio Tnaiibai) leo beolan Linll ociif a mac. [Ho 

ai'CT^iieab a]i fin aji en an laf^ajiac Linmni§, octif 1)0 

fonra c]ieaca ocuf if^ala na-ba af. 

Math- LVII. Uo gaB imo]ifo TTla^amain fi^e TDuman co 

gamhaiu's v < ^ v , 

sovereignty POfT^iien -peiifDa fefamail, ociif fo mafba-D jii^n octif 

of Munster. x:aoifi§, qiBicill octif T-fenmiliT) na n^all tiile leif. 

Uo T)aef aio imof f a maeif octif a f ecr;aif e^oa, a f tiaio- 

fi§, octif a nainfai§; octif fo bai fó blKcona hi lainfip 

Conspiracy THtiiTian. CiT) cfa aco OT, conoifc T)onT)abán mac Ca- 

a"^ahist ^*^''^ 1^^' ^^^^ PfTD^einnoe, octif DlaelnniaT) mac 0]iain 

him. fi "Defiiuiman an pofbaifi: octif an pifbifcac mo^i 

bai fof flairef ITIar^amna, octif "DailcCaif af.cena, 

fo gab fioc, octif fofmao móf uco, octif ba lieccal la 

Cloinn Ctiifc, octif la h6^0s;anacT: afcena in flairef, 

octif in fOflctnnif, octif an f.151 -do rocc co T)ailcCaif, 

octif CO Clannaib Lti§T)ach ainail boi hi ffiojaif octif 

hi ffaifane 'DÓib. Ho mifnpffior; lafam naeiin octif 

f If coin ^omax» la cloinn Cofbmaic Caif an flai^ef, 

octif in follamnaf co bfáoh, aniail afbefx: an cfe'oal, 

Propiiecy ociif in faiT) octif in fill .1. Colman mac Leinin : 

of St. Col- 
man, son Clann Cof bmaic Caif, co molccf nglonn 

Oil) leo an flairef fictl, 

CCcc cfiaf, CO ci piann. 

1 However. For imovty^o, B. reads, 

2 Them. The text of D. requires 
this word, but B. supplies the want 
by reading, yvof mnigiT) joiii Ltnni- 
mj, " slew the men of Limerick." 

3 In the east : i.e., in Wales. 

* They attempted. This passage is 
thus given in B. : octif cyimllf acaift 

Yii§e bixeacain t>o i;obail, ocuf "do 
■p-iKccc 1iii1irti\ ocuf loingef inoyi 
i.eif "DO iiTOifi ocuf 1X0 gctli a^T, 
cucm iaiT.t:ai\ac Luiiiinii;, ocuf ]xo 
maifibaf) leif beoilan Licill, ocuf 
a mac : " and they attempted to con- 
quer the kingdom of Britain [i.e., 
Wales] ; and Imar, accompanied by a 
great fleet, arrived again, and entered 



gamhain, ' killed and slew them^ ; and he bui-ned Luim- The Danes 
necli twice, and he banished Imar of Luimnech over the fin^enfrom 

•11 Limerick 

sea, so that he was a year in the east,^ and Amlaibh, son attempt the 
of Amlaibh ; and they attempted'* the conquest of the ^^'^i^,'^*^^! 
kingdom of Britain ; and Amlaibh, in the meantime, was return, 
killed by the king of Britain ; and Imar, accompanied by a ' ' 
great fleet, an-ived again in the western harbom- of Luim- 
nech, and Beolan Littill and his son were killed by them. 
[He then^ fixed his residence on the western harbour of 
Luimnech, from whence he made many spoils and battles. 

LVII. Mathgamhain now assumed the sovereignty of ^^^*^". , 
Mmnhain bravely, valiantly, and manfully ; and the king, sovereignty 
and chiefs, and champions, and brave soldiers of all the °^ ^i^^ster. 
foreigners were slain by him. Their stewards and bailiffs, 
too, and their billetted soldiers and mercenaries were en- 
slaved by him ; and he continued six years in the full 
sovereignty of Mumhain. "When Donnabhán, however, Conspiracy 
son of Cathal, king of L^i Fidhgenti, and Maehnuadh, at^nst 
son of Bran, king of Desmumhain, saw the prosperity and iii™- 
the gTeat increase that followed the reign of Mathgamh- 
ain, and of the Dal Cais in like manner, great fury and 
envy seized them ; and the Clann Cuirc, and the Eoghan- 
acht also became alarmed at the supremacy and the go- 
vernment and the sovereignty having passed to the Dal 
Cais, and to the Clann Lughdach, as was foretold and 
prophesied for them. Verily saints and righteous men 
had prophesied, that to the race of Cormac Cas shoiild 
belong the supremacy and the government for ever, as 
was said by the rehgious, the prophet, and poet, viz.. Prophecy 
Cohnan, son of Lenin : 

of St. Col- 
man, son 
of Lenin. 

The Clann of Cormac Cas, of many deeds, 
To them shall belong the noble sovereignty, 
Except tlu'ee, until Flaun comes. 

the western harbour of Luimnech, and 
Beollan Litill and hiá son were killed 
by him." 

s He then. From these words to line 
5, ch. Ixi. p. 92, infra, a defect, occa- 
sioned by the loss of some leaves in 


co^cCDli ^cceT)íiel ne sccllccibli. 

adh's call 
to battle. 

.1. piann Cirach a T)iii\laf, T;icpa ^le biiiniine biiarha. 
Oa heccctl z]^^. let Inia Cai|ip|ie plaiief "DalcCaif po^i 
poiibaiiir, a^i pe^udin cloinne Coiibmaic puil -ptniib .1. 
Ccdlle Coiibmcnc ó hOclan ^0 Linmiieoc, ocuy 6 Ctkciti- 
coill 50 Liic(ccn]"i. If a\\ na pciraibfni que fo iiiiiT»fUii)i 

LVIII. X>o fonfcrc aon coblctc ■maelmuaT) mac bfcnn, 
ocuf "DoiTDaban mac Caiaib, ocuf Imaf tnimms, octif 
"Diiib^enn, ocuf |io iompaif)fioT: af TDari^amain ; ocuf 
if ai)ie fin tio yiinne imaelmuaT) an laoi'bfi ace i;iom- 
fiiccax) an coblai§ : 

"Cionoil-e-ii \y\]\ ITliiTÍian hh, 

CC laocfcdi) Uoniiiccf. Lunnmg, 

"Coi-iiciT) ftinn, a]\ baf, naghait), 

Co "Dfumi nuf QfT) nCo^abail. 
'Coccbaig ciiccainn Uicc bcqa urfeb 

Itxif gallail) If 5aoiT)ealaib, 

Co ccuifeiii X)alcCaif na ccell 

(X Inataib una Oixetin. 
ComaiaDat) fobfaix) net fif , 

Riuiiifa If fe laocfaiT) Lintiim^, 

111 ^abaicr uctnn aT), 

OiT) mt\iec tea accoriiafTiccDh. 
CCf móf, an monaf, fobf atx), 

Oil) cdtfec leó an rfiall roccbairrr 

^tt) móf a n^ixe'Dan if a nglóf , 

Leo bit) mz]xec a monól. 

Treachery LIX. Ociif fo fcall "DonDaban mac Carail an llla^- 

of Donna- ^ ' ' , -■,... 1 

bhán,sonof ^amain ma n^n fein, maf 'do fiifail iinaf Unmnij; 
Cathai. faif, ocuf T)o cioniilaic DO niaolmiia-D mac Of am é, 

D., has been supplied from B. The 
more modern orthogi'aphy Avill be ap- 
parent to the Irish reader. 

1 Because they : so., the Ui Cairpre, 
of -whom Donnabhán or Donovan was 
the chieftain. 

~ The men : i.e., the men of the Dal 
Cais; Mathgamhain and his follow- 

3 AssemhUng. The reader will ob- 
serve that this poem begins with the 
verb cionoiiceii., and ends with the 


i.e., Flann Cithacli from Durliis, who will appear imme- 
diately before the da}^ of judgment. The Ui Cairpre, 
however, became alarmed at the increase of the sovereignty 
of the Dal Cais, because they^ were in occupation of the 
territory of the race of Cormac, to wit, Caille Cormaic,. 
from Oclan to Luimnech, and from Cnam-coill to Luachair. 
It was for these causes therefore they felt so. 

LVIII. Then Maelmuadh, son of Bran, and Donnabhan, 
son of Cathal, and Imar of Luimnech, and Duibhííenn, 
united into one host, and revolted against Mathgamhain ; 
and it was on that occasion Maelmuadli made this poem Maeimu- 
when collecting the host : j,'; 1^.^^^^^ 

Let the men of Mumhain be assembled by you, 

O heroes of populous Luimnech ! 

Come forward now right a head 

To the very high hill of Eoghabhail. 
Raise around us the people of your households, 

Both GaiU and Gaedhil, 

Until we di-ive the Dal Cais of the churches 

From the noble lands of Erinu. 
The men^ attempt competition 

With me and with the heroes of Luimnech, 

They will yield me no reverence, 

They shall repent their competition. 
Gi'eat is the work they attempt ; 

They shall repent the effort they make, 

Though great their uproar and tlieh noise, 

They shall repent theh assembling^. 

LIX. And Donnabhán, son of Cathal, in his own Treachory 
house, betrayed Mathgamhain, having been instigated ijh;in, .<onof 
to it by Imar of Luimnech ; and he delivered him to ^^'^ti^al. 
Maelmuadh, son of Bran, and to Imar, in violation of^ 

noun cioiioit; thus fulfilling the law i ^ In violation of : i.e., in sacrilegious 
of Irish poetry, which requires a bardic opposition to the wishes and influence 
composition of this sort to begin and i of the saints and clergy. The word 
end with the same word. It is proba- I ■paixugaf) is always used in the sense 
hie that the poems here inserted were of a sacnler/ious violation of some sa- 
not to be found in the older MS. D. I cred place, thing, compact, &c. 


co^orDti scceT)tiel ne ^ccllccibli. 

Murder of 
at the in- 
of Mael- 
A.D. 976. 


ociif DO Irncqi, ■ca]\ fqinccctT) nctein ocuf i^iiture tTltiii'Tcm 
uile. If Í coiiiciifle t)o fonccT) cmn, t)0 -lonnlcnce'D ó 
T)oiinat)áii tTlcrcsctiTiaiii -DolTHiaoliiniax) mac bfani ociif 
vo 5ctllaiB, ocuf fé cqi coin ai fee Colin in inic Ciaf ct^ani 
coiTiafba Oaiffi af lu'c mcqiGrct, ociif af ná 'oallT^a é. 
"Do fiiacuaT:af Diicf inuiiiii-if coiiictfba Occiffi, oeiif 
miiinnnf illaolmtiaf) in a^aiT) Tna^aiTiiia co Cnoe 
an febfttiT» af fleit) [Caem], ociif fo bai TnaolmiiaT) 
ocuf corhafba baiffi oc Raicin móif hi fPeafaibli 
TDui^i. Ho amin imoffo ITlaobmuax» va iiunnt^if an 
can no fa^aT» TTlargaiTiain na laini, a niafbaT) po cer- 
coif. CiT) cfa ace fo mafbcro iria^gaiiiain a^ illaeb- 
mua'D, ocUf ba peff do na Defna-o, oif. ba snioiii Docaif 
nfioif DO é. 

Octif faimee piff an fcceóil fin co Ofi'an ocuf co 
*DaleCaif, ocuf do bacaf aga a came co inóf. Ociif 
a Diibaif?: Ofian an mafbna beccfo ann : 

Oaf TTlar^aiima af D01I15 lem, 
CCifDfi Caipl tm cceiineiin, 
CC ttucim — af mof- an gniorii, 
Triuna TXUireT) le haifofit;. 

'Cfua^ lein nac In ccat no In ccleic 
*Oo fáccbat) é, af, fccáú afcceiú, 
■Still DO bef a-D caob DabaiD 
Le Dfocbfeitif, nT)onnabáin. 

"Oo ciODlaic 'Dorniabán Donn 

ITIot^ariiain ba cfuaiD coiiilann, 
X)o TDaolmuaT) ba becc ablax), 
CCifDfi Caifil DO mafbaDb. 

T)o ITlhaoltiniaD nif gin'oin cóif 
CC liiafbai) an fij fo nióif, 
CC íinlleD leif f o ba lainD, 
Hi f,acai) leif Da fpeDanm. 

^ Comkarha of Barri: i.e., bishop 
of Cork. Comharha signifies a suc- 
cessor in any episcopal or abbatial 

See. All bishops of Cork are tenned 
Comharhs, or successors of Barri, the 
founder of the See of Cork (7th 


the saints and clergy of all Mumhain. This was the 

counsel that was acted on there : Mathgamhain was TMurder of 

delivered up by Domiabhán to Maelmuadh, son of Bran, ,,,,'|,^hain 

and to the foreigners, although he was under the protec- at the in- 

tion of Columb, son of Ciaragan, Comharba of Barri,' of Maei- 

that he should not be killed or blinded. The people of m^a^ih, 

A.D. 976. 
the Comharba of BaiTÍ, and the people of Maelmuadh 

came to meet Mathgamhain to Cnoc-an-Rebhraidh on 
Sliabh [Caein] ; and Maelmuadh and the Comharba of 
Barri were at Raithin mor, in Fir Muighi. But Mael- 
muadh instructed his people, when Mathgamhain shoidd 
come into their hands, to kill him forthwith. Math- 
gamhain, therefore, was killed by Maelmuadh ; and it 
would have been better for him that he had not done so, 
for it proved to be a deed of great ruin to him. 

And the knowledge of this fact reached Brian and the 
Dal Cais, and they greatly lamented him ; and Brian Brian's 
uttered this short elegy on the occasion : lament. 

The death of Mathgamhain to me is grievous, 

The high king of Caisel the renowned^ ; 

His fall — great the deed, — 

Unless he had fallen by a high king. 
"Woe is me ! that it was not in battle or combat 

He was left dead, under cover of his shield, 

Before he had trusted in friendship 

To the treacherous word of Donnabhán. 
Donnabhán, the brown-haired, delivered up 

Mathgamham of brave combat 

To Maelmuadh ; small was the renown. 

The high king of Caisel to murder. 
For Maelmuadh it was no righteous deed 

To murder the very great king ; 

To destroy him was his delight ; 

He shall not escape vengeance, if I can. 

cent.) Ware^ Bishops (ed. Harris) p. 

« Renowned. Lit. " Caisel (i.e., 

Cashel,) of the degrees ;" ceim (plur. 
cennenn,) is a step, a degree of rank 
or nobility. 

90 co^ccdIi bCceT)tiel Re ^ccllccibTi. 

Secc nicfDinct mói\a ayi ^allaili 

"Do b|ii^" 50 11 Kuu tTlat^aiiiam, 

maiT)iii CCine, qauait) a laiiToe, 

Illai-Din 111 laij 1 rTiiarrixaige. 
inaiT)iu 111 ITlacaiixe Uuit)e 

CCii I'liicfg an "Da "oect^ T)iiine, 

Ro cioiiiai)xcc ocuf 11.0 niearh, 

Co 110 loifcc op.i\a Lmnineadi. 
TTlebai'D mo c-jaoi'Dep or cii» 

ITluiia 'óíoglaii^-a an cai|iT))xi5 ; 

X)o jeB^^a inoi-oi^ ^an ctaf, 

11 o "DO ^ebafon "oian báf. 


Date and LX. "Do mqibax) ITla^^aiTiain mac Cenmeicci^ le 
stances of T)oniial3cm mac Carail, ociif le lllaolmuaT) mac Oiiain 
Math- amlaiT) vni. ilaoi mblucDiia ran é^y cam SulcoToe 

gamhains 1 1 - ' -^ u - 

murder, fill, ocuf c(ii qiGf bliaDain .X. a^i necc T)oniicnai'D mic 

A.u. 9/6. Qei^i^cf^ctii^ ^xí Caifil, ociif 111 rocT-maT) blia-oaiii i^efccar; 

ail maiibaf) Coiibmaic mic Ctnlennáin, ocuf an picher- 

maf) bliaT>aiii a^i ma^ibai) Con^alai^ mic Tllaoilmiri^ 

fii "Cemiiac, ociif an ceriucmax) blKCDain \ié ccaí Tem- yu^. 

Math- CCn ~an ~iia av connaijxc íílac^amain an cloiT)eam 

fhrows'th ^''OCt: cuiccg va Biialat), if amlaix) yto bai, ocuf foifccela 

Gospel to bai^i]!! ai^i ai^a uct: oca comaiiice, do Diuljiiaic ii^ico]! 

the clergy. ^^ ^^ v^^^ muinT:iiT.e Coluim mic Ciaiao^áin, ayi Dai^ na 

in'l^BT) an puil é, co ucaiilcf an foifccel in uco ofaccaiiic 

DO miiinn7:iii Colinm mic CKqia^mn. poiiicclic an luce 

ay eolac ann co piiil iiiicoii i^oi^db ann on cnoc co 


CCt: coniiai)ac imoii^io lllaolmtiaD raiDle an cloiDcam 

noco ag bualaD Tl1ar:5amna, ocuf cd i^aDai^ic ecopyia, 

cicc airne -paip, ocuf yo ei^ii^ aiipn, ocup 110 ^abaD a 

Madmu- eic DO DO imrcco. piaiipaiDiv an clé cíd do DÓnaD; 

ad lb taunt. ^^_^^^^^ 111 aolnuiaf), Le]xci5 an ye\\ nrx: Da on' cuccar. 

1 r/ie Lnííí/í : see p. 83, line 23. But | Rilmj, "a defeat at Rihch," which 
the MS. gives also the reading, mai'óm | place is not known to the editor. 


Seven great defeats to the Gaill 

Mathgamhain gave well ; 

The defeat at Aine — by the liardness of his lance — 

The defeat at the Laigli^ in Ti-atraiglie ; 
The defeat of Machaire Buidhe 

Over the army of the two brave men : 

They a,ssembled [their troops] but failed, 

For he burned Luimnech over them. 
My heart will bui'st, I feel, 

If I avenge not the high king; 

I shall receive my death without flinching, 

Or he^ shall receive a sudden death. 

The Death 

LX. Mathgamhain, son of Cennedidi, vv^as killed by D-it^^a^f^ 
Donnobhán, son of Cathal, and by Maelmnadh, son of stances of 
Bran, in this maimer. This was nine years after the Math- 

. , f, -, gamhain 3 

battle of Sulcoit, and the thirteenth year after the death murder, 
of Donnehadh, son of Ceallachan, king of Caisel, and the ^•^' ^'^" 
sixty-eighth year after the killing of Cormac, son of Cuil- 
lennan, and the twentieth year after the killing of Conga- 
lach, son of Maelmithig-h, king of Temhair, and that was 
the fourth year before the battle of Temhair. 

And now, when Mathgamhain saw the naked sword l^iatí^- 
about to strike him, having the Gospel of Barri on his throws the 
breast to protect him, he threw it towards the people of <|^ospel to^ 
Columb, son of Ciaragan, with the intent that the blood 
should not touch it, and the Gospel fell into the breast of 
a priest of the people of Columb, son of Ciaragan. It is 
declared by those who are acquainted with the place that 
the hills are the full flight of an arrow asunder. 

Maelmuadh, however, saw the flashing of the naked 
sword striking Mathgamhain, although they were as far 
asunder as the eye could see ; and he knew it, and arose 
then, and his horses were yoked for him to depart. The T.raeimu- 
clerk asked him what he was to do ; Maelmuadh answered, ^^^^^s*^"^*- 
" Cm-e yonder man^ if he should come to thee." 

2 0?-/ie: i.e., Maelmuadh, or Molloy. I haiu. This was, of course, said in 

3 Yonder man. Meaning ]\Iathgam- | irony and insult. 


co^ccDti ^cceTtliel ne ^ccllccibli. 

^^ '*, , Imripr TTlaolnniaf) ucnrit), ociif t;icc an clenec airne 

cursed by ^ / k v 

the clergy, pai]!. 'Pel^cca1^cel^ e, ocuf ectfcccdniT) 50 'oioqict Tllaol- 
prophecy ^"^^"^' If cmilctiT) jio bai a^ -oenam nci pcdfoine, 
uttered of ocuf Ó cccc eapcccciiie ITnaolmuaT», conebe^io : 

his death. 

If CCe-oli iioro mtiiiip, fe]\ mull CCip, 
Ha ruaiT) na 5irtéiiie, la ciinaif) na gairhe, 
• In gnioni vo jionaif bit), -duit: a méla, 

1n ni mo nT)ep.naif ni cú jxof mela. 
Oil) buán a T)oca|X vaezhfaz do riiaicne, 
Pai-opii: DO fcéla, bit) Daeiia taicnie, 
Oit> laeg bo baiDi raecbaif do aeiiDail. 
Ill ru ]\oy uiaiDfe, -jiod iiiai)X):e CCeDan. 

18 CCeT)!!. 

Fulfilment LXI. Ociif |io coniaillex» r^uf an paifT^me fin amaib 

diction.^" '^'T^*^ raifn^if 111, doi^ i)^ é CCot) mac ^ebennai§ 

Tion "Déifi Bice ^10 inctfB TllaolniiiaT) a^ CCrh bealai^ 

Lecoa, a\\ na fa^bail 1 mbomn fcfna, -00 aji mbfeir 

a fill ua-D qie ei^ccaine an clefi^, vo ^^iit), iimo]ifo] 

in coiTiDi comctT) ima^uf allecoa iiTian cnoc. "Da 

comcdlleD in nifin fof, "Daig ifanx) i-a beco 111 aoh- 

T;ainna allanef "do cniic, ocuf leer: ITlailmuaT) alla- 

ctiaiT), ociif ni mionenT) ^^iian -paifi co bfaé, aihcnl fo 

The Gospel ^M'^can in clejieac, ociif in cfe'oal. T)o bot;a]i in "oa 

restored to -pci^ianT: laufin CO Coltim, ociif innifit: "do, ociif "do 

the bishop. , ^ ' ' ' , ^ « ' ' , ' 

befait; in fofcelct ma tier. If amlait) "oabi in fofcela, 
octif bfaengal foba Tilarhjanma faif, ociif caiif in 

The clerk's clefcc cfGDctl CO "Dicfa, ocuf T)0 fipii in raifceoab 

tirYci°i pcccacra ant), ociif ccfbeft: in Icíid fea : 

fines for the 

murder. . . — . 

1 One meeting : i.e., one encounter or 
hostile meeting. 

2 Alder hut: i e., a hut built of the 
alder tree. 

3 The Lord. Here we return to the 
text of D., and, as the reader wiU ob- 
serve, to the more ancient orthography. 

B. omits in cotitdi, "the Lord," and 
reads, j^omaT) impoccuf [inKfj;uf, 
D., omitting the aspirated p,] cc lecc 
mon ccnoc; adifferenceof spellingonly. 

* South side. CCllctnef [for allitn- 
T>ef], D. CCllctcef, B. 

s The two priests. B. reads, t)0 



Maelmuaclh went from them, and the clerk recognised He is 
him, and became angered, and fervently cm-sed Maelmuadh ; the^'ciergj' 
and uttered a pro]:)hecy thus, while he was cm-sing Mael- ^"*^ f 

,,,., prophecy 

muadh, and said : uttered of 

his death. 

It is Aedh that sliall kill thee, a man from the border of Aifi, 
On the north of the sun, with the harshness of the wind; 
The deed thou hast done shall be to thee a regret, 
That for which thou hast done it, thou shalt not enjoy. 
Perpetual shall be its misfortune, thy posterity shall pass away, 
Thy history shall be forgotten, thy tribe shall be in bondage, 
The calf of a pet cow shaU overthrow thee at one meeting' ; 
Thou shalt not conquer it — Aedhan shall slay thee. 

It is Aedh. 

LXI. And this prediction, as it was foretold by the Fulfilment 
clerk, was fulfilled ; for it was Aedh, the son of Gebennach "^gtiJ^ ^^^^' 
of the Deisi-Beg,that slew Maelmuadh at the ford of Belach 
Lechta, having foimd him in an alder hut,^ after being 
deprived of his eyes through the ciu-se of the clerk, who 
had also prayed] the Lord^ that his grave should be 
near that hill. That was likewise verified ; for Mathgam- ' 
hain's grave is on the south side* of the hill, and Mael- 
muadh' s gTave on the north side, and the sun never shines 
on it, as the clerk, the religious, had foretold. The two The Gospel 
priests'^ then went to Columb, and they told him, and they [he*^,^isho*p 
placed the Gospel in his breast. And so the Gospel was, 
and the blood of Mathgamhain was sprinkled on it ; and 
the religious'' clerk wept bitterly, and he composed there The clerk's 
a prophetic prediction, and uttered this poem : thTiec^al 

fines for the 

cucn;caii, 1mol^l|^o na y^accctiyic ctyx 
pn CO Colum mac Cictiaccjain, ocu^^ 
iTiniyic "DO 171ctt5aiiiaiii 'do Tncq^- 
Via-o : " The priests went after this to 
Columb, son of Ciaragán, and told him 
that Mathgamhain was killed." 

^ ReUffious. Or "faithful," "be- 
lieving." B. reads, ocu'p cii|^ an 
cléifiec ac caiyicceralna pai-pcine, 
coniT) ann crcbeyic: "and the cleric 
wept whilst composing the prophecy, 
and then he said." 


co^ccDli ^cceTjliel ue ^ccllccibli. 

beixncqx iitd v\\\ ctunala 

Iciii bee [if] moll 

11 11 51 TDctjijiit; -piiiT)i\iini 

Oo ocuf unji -Doyi. 
Cuit: iin cec pyi cap,inairni, 

111151 ■Daiiguc 51I, 

llucu cvnii^ T1Í afnio, 

111 liecccdl "DO a cm. 
Cuit; in "oe^pii ranaifi, 

llucu belli acu bo, 

OiaiT) vo nieu a peiiji 

"Ou cumj a^DO. 
11 1151 TDon ófi oyilaiTiac 

Chit: in rfief -pifi, 

OeiiiT) ccnT) anabqi, 

'Oli^iT) an-D afbeii. 

Math- 5a mon zna in reel fin ; -Dcn^ if éfin fio yc]\^y a]\v\\Y 

gamham's , , ^ «-,1 1 " '- 

victories. b«Uii cdil cqiniiimam. Mo h]\:y, (tm, in Laec fin ccrf.i 
cara poiiru, coniD qi fin \\o can Iliac Lictc : 

Ocuf net ceqxi cctta 

poll ^aUmb ^linm T)ctta 

Ro bixif ITlctrlijaiimm niec ngal 

■CuaiD 1 rulaij 'Ctiat)inuinan. 

1 Cumhals " Cumhal" is a Brehon 
law term, signifjang a tine or forfeit 
of tliree cows ; but the word is used 
generally for any fine, without refer- 
ence to the value. B. reads, be^x-Daia 
na cyxi aniiai.a, "let the three cum- 
hals be paid." 

2 Great. The reading of B. if móf,, 
"and great," which seems necessary to 
the sense, has been adopted, within 
brackets in the text. 

^Fimlruni: see above, p. 50. This 
word is very difficult, and is left un- 
translated. It seems to mean here 
bj'iyhf, sinning: 51I, in the next stanza, 
being evidently given as its equivalent. 

* lie demands. Cuiii§ here and in 
the last line of the next quatrain is for 
curroig, ("asks," "demands,") omit- 
ting, as usual in this MS., the eclipsed 
or assimilated medial letter. B. reads 
here, "^in j^o ccumnij, and in the 
next place (line 12 of the poem), co 
ccuinmg a 'dó, a mere difference of 

5 Glitter. Lit., " of the golden 
flame ;" oiyiloif ci, B. 

^ Share. Cuiitdi^, C-i "liability:" 
which is wrong. The last two lines 
are given thus in B : 

beifii-á mviix -jiof be|X 
T)li5ii> mvi'ii i\of -Dligh. 



Let three cumhals^ be paid for it, 

Both small and great^ ; 

An ounce of silver Findruni,^ 

A cow, and an ounce of gold. 
The share of the first man whom we love, 

An ounce of white silver, 

He demands^ no more, 

He need not fear for its guilt. 
The share of the second good man, 

He shall take but a cow, 

Great will be his anger, 

He demands two. 
An oiuice of gold, of golden glitter^, 

Is the share*^ of the third man ; 

He takes what I say. 

He is entitled to what he takes. 

Let be paid. 

This was, indeed, a great event" ; for it was he who Math- 
first swept the foreigners out of lar-Mumhain ; and more- ^'f^^rtes ^ 
over, this hero had gained foiu* battles over them, of which 
Mac Liac sang : 

And the four battles 

Over the foreigners of Glenn Datha 

INIathgamhain gained — great valour, — 

On the north, in the hills of Tuadh-Mumhain. 

But this reading would violate the law 
of Irish poetn' alluded to above, p. 
86, note 3. Perhaps befi and iDligTi 
should be transposed, and then these 
two lines may be rendered — 
" Pay for him what is lawful. 
What is lawful is what I state:*' 
But the reading in the text is more 

7 Event. B. gives this clause, with 
some variations, thus: Oa niuyi rifia 
in pai^Dine ■pin ocu-p ba mop, in 
pcet/, "DOig ipé an lllacgaiiictin pm 
p,o 'pq\iop' 501 II a Tnuiiiam a\x 
cup, aiimil p.0 cam 111 ac Lia5, 

Ocup na ceir^ie cota 

iX.\x sallailj 'glinne "Data: 

" Great was this prophecy, and great 
the event ; for it was this Mathgamhain 
who first swept the foreigners out of 
Munster, as Mac Liag sang : 

And the four battles 

Over the foreigners of Glenn Datha," 

omitting the other two lines given in 
the text; which, however, are neces- 
sary to complete the sense. The poem 
which follows, within brackets, chap. 
Ixii., ending on page 101, is found 
only in B. 


co^ccT)!! scce"Dliel ne srcRccib1i. 

The blind LXII. [ConiT) ailll "DO 11111116 TDall 111 Cirvaililia 111 

bard's ., ■- ' ^ 

elegy. iiiajiona 1^0 : 

(XxiX) anni an iiticiii gaiii^nil ^^leDncti^ 

puil a TXi'ix O c'Coiii'Dealbaij, 

Oiait), if 11Í scnift 5cm "Darhiict 

CC■l^ TiT)íé an mail ITIar^arima. 
ITlau^aihain ! mint) mtiije pail, 

Tilac Cmneiuri^ mic Loiicúin, 

Ua Ian Kqaúa]x 'ooriiain Dé, 

*Oo xl^ h]xntma]x Oop.oniie. 
TTlat^ainain ! mia-oac an gem, 

niac ctiyiaca Cinneircig, 

■8tiai-|ic 'Don yii^ "Don ixoigne an hex)-^, 

'501II Tio 'Diocaft na n-Doibetg. 
11 oca cai^xnenT) a]\ Xihalccaif 

Laec niajx laec Luminig Imnglaif, 

in una pellra fO]x an |ii$, 

CCft "Dae^'cai^iecc no a\i 'Dimb^iij. 
*Oa mi5 ^abaijx n^miim -Don 51x015 

X)o '01 a5 'Ca'D5 mac ITIccilcellaig, 

'X)a]\ lint) ni iaa5aT) a cli 

^ombeiú aft &]xmT) "oaén iiig. 
CiT) po ceixDinaif ni "oe, 

Lárii "DO CU1X ]\e ^paifrme, 

Ro ei|ii5 lei fi urn ]\é lá 

ll5p,a 5aca haftecua. 
CC CCilbe lmli5 am, 

Ociif a T)eocain 1 leaf am, 

Oit) male "DÍl TTlctÚ5amna vé, 

*Da cuft a|i Ba|\ ccomai-p,cce. 
O "DO -Dechait), laemi co fiat, 

^o "Oim "^mp 5onfaT)ac, 

llocoix fecmaif) Oftian fie báiT) 

X)a coifc 1 Txec nX)onnabáin. 

1 Loud to-day. The metre of this 
first line is wrong. Perhaps we should 
read, CCn-t) amy an sain- SIT-e-onai^, 
or CC'p.'o.amu 5áin.5«il SIT-e'Dnaij, 

" Loud to-day a clamorous shout of 
woe;" the other words being mere ex- 
pletives, which were perhaps origin- 
ally intended as a gloss. CCmmaix 


LXII. [And it was on that occasion that Mathgam- The blind 
hain's blind hard made this elegy : elegy. 

Loud to-day^ the piercing wail of woe 

Throughout the land of Ui Toirdhelbhaigh ; 

It shall be — and it is a wail not without cause, 

For the loss of the hero IMathgamhain. 
Mathgamhain ! the gem of Magh Fail, 

Son of Cennedigh, son of Lorcán, 

The western world was full of his fame — 

The fiery king of Boromha. 
Mathgamhain ! noble the offspring ! 

Heroic son of Cennedigh! 

Delightful to the king was the shock he caused, 

In banishing the foreigners for their misdeeds. 
Never appeared amongst the Dal Cais, 

A hero like the hero of Luimnech, of the green pool, 

Had not the king met treachery, 

From baseness or from weakness. 
When he carried off a black steed of the stud, 

Which belonged to Tadhg, son of Maelcellaigh, 

We thought that he would not have left his body 

Until he had become sole king of Erinn. 
Why should we cast away any of it, 

To raise our hand against prophecy ; 

By hun were gained in his day 

The battles of every engagement. 
O Ailbhe ! of noble Imleach, 

And, O thou deacon Neasan — . 

Good was Mathgamham's fate in this 

That he was put under your protection. 
When he went in his prosperous career 

To Dun Gaifi the wound-giidng, 

It was not in friendship he shunned Brian, 

By going to the house of Donnabhán. 

is probably for an puaiifi, " the shout," 
or " the sound ;" which is expletive and 
unnecessary ; but if the word aiinuayx 

(for an puaiyi) be retained, the line 
may be literally rendered, " Loud to- 
day, the sound of clamorous woe-shout." 


cofeCCTili scce"oliel Re ^ocllccibti. 

mmia mY^ea a bhiaiain ille 
ChuccaiiTD aft ceriT) coniaiyile, 
^eilip ttige feib a-DCuaf, 
11a CC1115 ccmcciT) co ccomc|\yaf. 

Ceiii 1X0 bábaiix niaille 

Ro bo maiú ha]\ mh]\(xtm]^.ye, 
CCcc fio •pójbcró rolaib jal, 
CCni:o'D éin T)ori cpnriTpeafi. 

Out) laej bo Deacrmje TDÓib, 

ill bia X)al cCaif na cqxaiTD coiyi, 
Co raei) an )xi cui|i 'Ciiai'De, 
If ]\^ lllat) iiTDfuaiiie. 

niaTDin TTItii^e TTloiigain -Don 1111115 
"Do c\i]\ Oi\ian if ITlaúgaiiiain, 
íli|X beicceati centiac ap, gall 
Sif ayi flije SeaTigualanT). 

Oca CCc na nee an aiftni, 

If ant» 1^0 inmg an nióii niaifim, 
ill ixangoraii 501 II a ngné 
Co hat raifiptec coixa'Dcle. 

CCn ni nia rranga-Daii ille, 
11 a gaill ocuf T^fiaD^xaije, 
Ro fajfoc nió|i fciac if ngae 
CCc CCt Cliac na ccoiiiixarti. 

ílíft cóifi 'DO gallaib joftba 
'Coi'óect: 1 n-DÚil Tílatjaiima, 
"Mi gan náif.e do cua-Daf. tiat), 
Sunt) z\iey an faile fef.bfinaT). 

Hi Dingnem ráinptnh na ngall, 
CCft mo "Dile le X)tiib5enn, 
"Do ixat) mo^i "duIc T)óib ]xe \\é 
]2e]\ 511 f rucfac coiiiaiiile. 

Rug uaitib nióix vo cána'ó, 
11Í tiu^iaf a cconiáqxeiti, 
Hac mebal "oóib féin an cuaiiar, 
CCnnfo ca|\ic aft Sulcuai'D ? 

1 Countenances: i.e., the marks of 
fear continued on their countenances. 
Tliis is a difficult passage ; no such 
place as Ath Toradcle is known. Dr. 
O'Donovaa sutrirestá that we should 

read, co hCCch caixpcec con.cro Cle, 
" to the fruitful Ath-Cle of troops, " 
Ath-Cle being anotlier way of spelling 
Afk Cliath, or Dublin, which is men- 
tioned in the next stanza as the place 


Since he would not come, O Brian, hither 

Unto US to take counsel, ^ 

Take thou the sovereignty, as was foretold. 

Of the five provinces with high valoiu*. 
As long as you were together 

Good was your brotherhood, 

But there was left — ^mighty deed — 

Injustice to the junior by the senior. 
A poem should be made for them, 

The Dal Cais will not be in their true fate 

Until the king the tower of Tuaidhe falls, 

And the king of cold Uladh. 
The defeat of Magh Morgaui, in the plain. 

Was given by Brian and Mathgamliain ; 

It was not necessary to purchase a foreigner 

Down on the road of Seangualainn. 
From Ath-na-nech, of the armour, 

'Twas there the great defeat was given ; 

The foreigners did not recover their countenances,' 

Until they had reached the stout Ath Toradcle. 
When they had come hither. 

The foreigners and the Tradraighe, 

They had left many shields and spears 

At Ath Cliath of the victories. 
It was not right in the rough foreigners 

To come against Mathgamhain ; 

Not without shame did they escape from him. 

From hence through the bitter salt water. 
I shall not revUe the foreigners, 

Because of my friendship with Dubhgenn ; 

Much of evU did he inflict on them in his time, 

The man to whom they gave counsel. 
He took from them many tributes — 

It is not easy to reckon them. 

Did not the march prove disgraceful^ to themselves — 

Which they make here upon Sulcoit ? 

where they took refuge. But it is 
possible that there may have been 
some ford called Ath Toradcle, in the 
Dal Cais country. 

-Disgraceful. For meBat, "dis- 
graceful," perhaps we should read me- 
IJajx, "Do they not remember the 
march ?" 


100 cosccoTi ^cceT)lTel ne ^cdlccibíi. 

^'l^]x coi^i T)0 Lee Ctntin cam, 

7>e "DO niai) a ccoiiiiiiai'Diiii, 

"Ctigfain a inbcmgixaij 'Don Oarix), 

CCnuaf T)0 cfiaiTDgait ClotiftaTi'D. 
Cmiiain le X)ál cCaif cét) cell 

ITlctix "DO cnaiiiafi a|i ^aet ^leann. 

If a]\ fcéiú peaft^ail cniiiixa 

T)o -puineD Ion Tnor^aiima, 
Ro p,áiT) ITIctt^atfiain 'oon nitng 

Ofieitiix if coiiiailliT), 

50 -puic-peai) lecTT pjx iaof nia|ib 

8an ri|\ ctiriiiieix) aiceannjcqilj. 
llocaft "Duchaij "do mac Oiiain 

ITIiTilacaf a]\ TTlaúsaínain, 

Oa T)iica 'DO T:acai\ pall 

"Oo 111 X)all cCaif na cc|\iiaT)fciar. 
^lon 50 léijrea laoig 50 buaib 

CC5 caomea-D Ulat^ariina niuai'D, 

*Oo •peyia'D mó|X 'Dulc fie la 

*Don luce fiiil hi bpu^it; ajXDa. 


Thereign LXIII. Roj^ctb, iiTionno, buicm mac Chene-Dis ic 

of Bnau in " 11 

Munster. "Dailcttif ccceeoiii a]\ riiqibccD ITIcrcn^ainna ; ociif m\x 
bo cloc 1111 na-D 1151 ^en, ocuf m]\ bo fop iniiucD Iqip, 
ace ba eiien inina'o eixein, ocuf ba eeiTD lajx een'D. 
'Da|iona'D, imoiiiio, coca-o fae^eech fcqiec fiBlac fuab- 
yeac nemlac nemeixoiiec lefi-De, octif ixo 'oe^'Di^la'D a 
biiaeaifi leif. Robi 111 1^151 caeac coccach congalac 
inyii-Dac aiix^neac efa-oal, eofcac na jii^i fin. Robi, 
inioi"iiio, in p^i fbeiiac fa'oal fomenmac fieenriail fona 
Vonnaineac fai'Dbiji pbe'oac pinin^ech foeamail fo-DeoTo 
a 'DepeT). "Mi "oa fcelaib feic coleic if in nifei. 

1 Then Brian. Here we return to 
the text of D. 

^Undertook. Ro Tftiosa-D, B. Iniof,- 
■jio, om. B. 

s Redress. CCcc, B. 

4 And. Ocuf , om. B. 

8 A71 egg. Uige fin, B. 

c But he was. CCcu maT) cyien a^fi 
cixéoiifx, ocuf cifien in lona-o cixéoiia, 

B. The meaning is, that the enemy 
found themselves to have gained no- 
thing by the murder of Mathgamhain. 
Brian was as great a warrior and as va- 
liant a champion as his brother had been. 

7 War. Cocca'D fiul5lac feic- 
Ifvecli neminec neiiiimeif,cnec lei- 
fium, B. 

8 His reign. This passage is given 


The comely people of Letli Cuinn ought not 

(Altho' they do so,) to boast, 

We brought their fair studs from the Bann, 

Down to the ships of Clothrann. 
The Dal Cais, of the hundred churches, remember 

How we over ran Gaeth- Glenn, 

When upon the illustrious Fergal's shield, 

Mathgamhain's meal was cooked. 
IMathgamhain uttered on the plain 

A threat which was fulfilled. 

That he would leave there the tomb of a man he killed, 

In the uneven rough-furzed country. 
It was not natural for the son of Bran 

To act cowardly towards Slathgamhain ; 

It would have been moi-e natural for him to send hostages 

To the king of Dal Cais, of the hard shields. 
Although calves are not suffered to go to the cows, 

In lamentation for the noble Mathgamhain : 

There was inflicted much evil in his day 

By those who are in Port-Arda. 


LXIII. Then Brian,' son of Cennedigh, undertook^ the The reign 

redress^ of the Dal Cais forthwith, aft«- the murder of^í^"^'^'" 


Mathgamhain ; and"* he was not a stone in the place of an 
egg"' ; and he was not a wisp in the place of a clnb ; 
but he was^ a hero in place of a hero ; and he w^as va- 
lour after valour. He then made an invading, defying, 
rapid, subjugating, ruthless, untiring war,'' in which he 
fully avenged his brother. His reign,^ at the beginning of 
his reign, was one full of battles, wars, combats, plundering, 
ravaging, unquiet. But at its conclusion, this reign at length 
became bright, placid, happy, peaceful, prosperous, wealthy, 
rich, festive, giving of banquets, laying foundations. Some 
of his adventures are here shortly related. 

thus in B. — ^Rob í ^in on ixije cocc- 
cach, consaloc, aii\5nec,ioi\5aUtc, 
eayya'Dal/, a cco-pac net pi^e pn. 
IFlobi, an \l^%e -j^úbaé, 
■raT)a?., -poniienmnctc, ^^io-ocniunl, 
von a, vuif)5ii\, •]'>omaoinenc, piei)- 

acTi, puifiecach a •opinef). tli "oa 
l^ceiaib inniy^cen |^imn co leicc. 
This description nmst be understood 
as referring to the reign of Brian in 
jMunster only: not to his reign as 
king of Ireland. 



cosccDli scceT)liel vie sccltccibti. 

Plunder of 
the islands 
of the 
A.D. 977. 

bhan unites 
■with Har- 
old, Danish 
king of 

They are 
both slain 
bv Brian, 
A.D. 978. 

to Mael- 
muadh to 

His poeti- 
cal address 
to the 

LXIV. RomqibaT), ^xa, 1ina)i. ociif cc "dcc ineic la 
bjnaii ; T)iibceiTD ocuf CuccUaiD la hinb T)oninaill Co^i- 
coba]X'inT) 1111111111^ inoi|i, ociif 1111111^ 'oa T)|Uiinan'D, 
ociiv iiifeDa nil 111 en am Kqi^^in ; .1. cac T)11 i^aabaDaii 
iiina, ocuf macama ociif ban-p.acoa 11a n^all. . "Da 
pp.ii o]ia oi"i, octif a^i^GT: niiTja iiianii, ocuf iiurciuya 
im-oa ecfaiiila ifna hniDfib fin octif if 11a pof^caib. 

Ro cuifiefT;aif, T:\ia, X)oiiiuibáii CCfalo inac Imaif 
CU151 ap. niafba-D a ai;af, ocuf \\o fisfai: ^aillTnnnian e. 
Ro cuaiT) laffiii a\\ cfeic niiiuib piTD^eiin, ociif fo 
^abfor: buaf -DiaifiTii^i, ocuf fo aifgfao Carinais Cnan, 
ociif fo mafbfao a -Dam, ocuf fo niafbfai: T)oiintibán 
mac Carail, in oecc inbaig, fi Ua piiiD^enn, ocuf fo 
iiiafbfac CCf.alt; mac Imaif fi ^all, ocuf fo ciiiffex: 
á]\ T)imo]i af gallaib, ocuf i;iicfaT: biiaf 'DiaifiniT:i leo. 
In -oafa blia-oain af mafba-D lTlai;h5amna fin. 

LXY. [1f annfin fo cuif Ofian 7:ec<-a co RlaelnniaT» 
mac bfain 'Diaffaix» efca abfaraf .1. ITlarsaiiina mac 
Ceinneiu-ig, .1. Co^afan polla ^fa-ba -do bfian eifem, 
ocuf at^befc Ofian an laiDh : — 

Cifigli a Cliocccífám ccdf, 

Co ITlaelnniat) an finfcc fiiToglaif, 
50 macaib Ofain af biian fat, 
If CO niacaib 11a nCac-oac. 

^By Brian. B. omits the words 
a "oa meic ta biaian, and conse- 
quently represents Imar, Dubhcenn, 
and Cualladh, [Itiiaix ocuf *Duib- 
Sent) ocuf CuallcfD, B.] as having 
been killed by the Hua DomhnaUl of 

2 Inis-mór, or " Big island." It 
seems as if a line had been omitted 
here in D. ; for B. reads la llua 
nTDoinnaiil Cbo'pxobai|'^ciiTO in 
inif Ccccliaig blia-oani }U]X maiv 
bci-Dlllacgamna. iLohcni^cce-oleo 
PiTTD imp, ocuf inif moiii, ocuf 
inif "Da "Oi^omanT) ocuf inn]^ex)a 
cm cuani uile aiicena. "By Hua 

Domhnaill of Corcobhaiscinn in luis 
Cathaigh, the year after the murder 
of Mathgamhain. Finn Inis and Inis 
Mór, and Inis Da Dromann were 
plundered by them, and the islands of 
the whole harbour likewise." 

^Harbour: viz., the Harbour of 
Limerick, or mouth of the Shannon. 
It is e^^dent from these words, and 
those that follow, that the text is de- 
fective ; for it is impossible that two 
men could have been killed in more 
islands than two. We are, therefore, 
under the necessity of preferring the 
text of B, as given in note -. 

^Silver. B. reads, T)o Y]\]zh ij]x 



LXIV. Irnar and his two sons had been killed by- 
Brian • ; Dubhcenn and Cuallaid by the Ui Domhnaill, 
of Corcobhaiscinn in Inis-mor/^ and in Inis-da-Drmnand, 
and in the other islands of the harbom*,^ afterwards ; 
namely, every place in which the wives and childi'en and 
women of the foreigners were. There were foimd gold 
and silver* in abundance, much of wealth and various 
goods in those islands and in the fortresses. 

Then Donnabhan invited Ai'alt, the son of Imar, unto 
him, after his father had been killed, and the foreigners 
of Mumhaiii made him king. He [Brian^] went after- 
wards on a foray into Ui Fidhgenti, and they took cattle 
innumerable; and they plundered Cathair Cuan,*^ and 
they killed its people ; and they killed Donnabhan, son of 
Cathal, the ripe culprit,^ the king of Ui Fidhgenti ; and 
they kUled^ Ai-alt, son of Imar, king of the foreigners, and 
they made a prodigious^ slaughter of the foreigners, and 
they carried away with them cattle innumerable. This 
was the second year after"^ the killing of Mathgamhain. 

LXy. [Then Brian sent a messenger to Maelmuadh, the 
son of Bran, to demand from him the Eric' ' of his brother, 
Mathgamhain, son of Cennedigh, viz., Cogarán, who was 
the confidential officer of Brian. And Brian spake this 
poem : — 

Go, Cogai'án, the intelligent, 

Unto Maelmuadh of the piei-cmg blue eye, 
To the sons of Bran of endui'ing prosperity, 
And to the sons of the Ui Eachdach. 

Plunder of 
the islands 
of the 
A.D. 977. 

bhan unites 
with Har- 
old, Danish 
king of 

They are 
both slain 
by Brian, 
A.D. 978. 

to IMael- 
muadh to 

His poeti- 
cal address 
to the 

ocuy^ Ttiaice'pa lonrDa ete ^f na 
■hmirpb, ocu|" ^f na poyvraib ■pin : 
"There were foimd gold and many 
other goods in the islands, and in those 

B reads, "Oo cuaiD 

" Brian went after- 

which interprets the text 

5 He {Brian^. 
layi^'^in bixicm. 

of D. 

6 Cathair Cuan. Cacp,ai5 Cuan, 
D. CotaiTfi Cuan, B. 

'I Culprit. B. omits the ■words, m 
cecc inbaig. 

8 Killed. Ro sabp'ar, B., " They 

^Prodigious. CCifi mop,, B., "A 
great slaughter." 

^0 After, layi, B. The following 
chapter is an interpolation which oc- 
curs only in B. 

11 Eric. That is, the fine payable 
by the Brehou Law for the murder of 


cosccoti scce'Dtiel ne ^ccllccibli. 

Piaiipaif) Diob 511 f na fatal 15 
Cm ina-jx niaiibfoc 1110 bixataiix, 
Cix) maix inaiibfarctii na p]\, 
Tncctgaiiiain mac Ceinneirri^. 

TTlaiii^ TDO iiiaiib Uicc aneiT)i§ ; 
ITlai)!.^ no ina|ib mac Ceirineicri5 ; 
TDoft an mioixot 5iT|\bpei\|\ ne 
Oeiú ac liiioft ana aige. 

^iT) mip -DO maiÚBT) pn, 

■Cefcaf) caib mic CeinneiTxig, 
ill maiupet) X)alcCai]p calma, 
"Ce-pcai) caib auri^ei\na. 

til maicpex) Longaiián lún, 
11a Gcn^eiin, na Ocean, 
lice Conain^ cit.iiccit) na ccjiec, 
11a Cemneiccig caoni cmmneac. 

Ifeat) "Deayiaic na pii, 
*Oal cCaif |iú a^x uainib, 
^o mbeyioc x^n(xta\i 50 ixctt, 
^omba huadiaiT) hxn Gac-Dac. 

Clan n a Coixbmaic iccéin, 

íla bit) vo ci\ic clainne tieill, 
[1 txift C01CCKX1C bif)] jac 'oiiecan, 
TTlanbaT) leó 'oeifceiic Gjienn. 

Cá ru^ mac Oixam mic Cem 
Cumal mo bi\cn:aiii TDani -péin, 
Moca geib uat) ^eill no Sjiaig, 
CCcc é ipéin ma cmaiT). 

^eallaiT) ITluiichai) muyt mac O^iiam, 
TTlaolmtia'D -do cofc ya céx) gliaii), 
Ocuf ni paiixbixig a ^eall, 
O a-obaix amt)irti$ e-|\enn. 

Rail) le mac Oyiain nac ba'Dbaf) 
Ce]X€ cciicn^if ó mai-jxeac, 
"Cecc 50 Oelac Lecca ille 
Lin a floig i^a focyxaiDe. 

1 / had forgiven. The meaning is, 
" Although I had forgiven the murder 
of my brother, the tribe of the Dal 
Cais would never forgive the slaughter 
of their chieftain." 

~ Longarán, read Lonargán. 

^ In a stranger province. The 
words within brackets are supplied 
by Mr. Cuny from conjecture ; a 
blank is left in the original. The 



Ask them what were the reasons 

Why they killed my brother ; 

Why did the men kill 

Mathgamhain, son of Cennedigh ? 
Woe ! to have killed unarmed people — 

Woe ! to have killed the son of Cennedigh ; 

Great the misfortune, that they thought it better 

To be on Imar's side than on his. 
Though I had forgiven^ that, — 

The cutting open the side of Cennedigh's son ; 

The brave Dal Cais would not forgive 

The cutting open the side of their lord. 
Longarán,2 the opulent, would not forgive, 

Nor Echtighern, nor Ogan, 

Nor hardy Conaing of the plunders. 

Nor Cennedigh the comely, the mindful. 
This is what the men now say — 

The Dal Cais — unto them, on fit occasions, 

That they will make a victorious march 

By which the Ui EacTidach will be reduced to a few. 
The Clann Cormaic afor 

Let them not be from the Clann NeUl country, 

[In a stranger province^ be] every tribe, 

If theirs be not the south of Erinn. 
Whenever'* the son of Bran, son of Cian, shall offer 

The CumhaP of my brother unto myself, 

I will not accept from him hostages or studs, 

But only himself in atonement for his guilt. 
Mnrchadh the great, the son of Brian, promises 

To check Maelmuadh in the first combat, 

And his pledge will not be forfeited 

By the heu* of the chief king of Erinn. 
Say unto the son of Bran that he fail not, 

After a full fortnight from to-morrow, 

To come to Belach Lechta hither 

With the full muster of his army and his followers. 

meaning is, " Let the Clan Cormaic 
(or Dal Cais), and aU its tribes live 
in exile, and retire to the covmtry of 
the O'Neills (i.e., the North of Ire- 
land), rather than j'ield to others the 

sovereignty of the South, i.e., of Mun- 

* Whenever. Literallj', " The day on 

5 Cumhal. See above, p. 94, note ^. 


cofeCCDli scceDliel Re sccllccibii. 

Battle of 
and death 
of Maol- 
A.D. 978. 
Battle of 
Fan Con- 
rach, A.D. 



and Leiu- 

CCcc inuna rifen atinef 
Co Oelac Leacca langlaf , 
Pixicailet) aije 5a Ú15 
*Oal cCaif If mac CeiTineimj. 

II oca gebta^x uata ann 

0]x 11a aii\5ec no -peaiianT», 
tia ^eill, na ittdiIi, a pip., 

liTDip TDOlb l-p eip.15. 


LXVI. CCiTDfein no ciiii"i b]iiaii ccrc Oelcti^ Lecrct, 
T)ii iDiiocctiii TnoelmnaiD mac bjiain ]\^ iniinucn, ocuy 
va .c T)éc nmi eri]i ^ctll octii^ ^oeDel, ocuf i"io gab 
biuc^n iniinicm co pcq^p. 

Ciy a arhli fin cue Oiiiaii cere "Pcnn Conyiac -poii 
^ciblaib ; ocuf ]\o bfif ociif fo aifjefcaija 11a "Defi 
CO pofc Laf^i, ocuf fo inctf-b inn fo fcti^ in cacccD 
aif .1. "Domnailb mac "Paelan a piifi: Lafp, octif fo 
gab bfa^ri ITIiiman 11 li ap, rafUD a lama maf fin, 
ociif fo ^ab bfa^r:! aifocell miiman na fagbaicif 
mefli§, na fo^laip atiin fna cellaib. 

"Da fonaT) laffin flucc^e-o fcf ITluman uli la 
O^iian in nOffaijib, ocuf ]\o ciiibfi^ei) leif ^illa- 
paDfaic mac "OoncaTDa, ocuf yio ^ab a pallii .1. ^1,1 
Offai^i. T)a ciKiiT) laffin co mag nCCillbi co can- 
ca-Dafi "Da fi Lajen na ceac, .1. "Domnall Cloen, ociif 
'Cuaial jii Kifcaif Lipi, octif fo ^ab a mbfaijr;! icinT» 

1 Brian. We have here again the 
text of D. B reads, If annf in "do 
cuif, byi.ian cot pyii ixi mmimn .1. 
Illaolmuctf), ocuf ccrbei^ac aixoile 
f o inui\baT) "oa cex) 'oécc aiin 'do 
gallaib ocuf gctoi-oeuleati, ocuf 
fo mayibciT) niaobnucca pern: 
" Then Brian gave battle to the king 
of Munster, i.e., Maolmnadh, and some 
say there were killed there 1,200 of 
the foreigners and of the Irish, and 
Maolrauadh liimself was killed." And 

then in a new paragraph, Ro j:;obcfD 
b^ictij-oe na tlluiiian co f 011156 cif 
a hcnrlp, ociif riic 0]\ian, &c. : 
'•He took the hostages of Mumhain 
as far as the sea afterwards, and Brian 
gave battle," &c. 

'■^ Fun Conrack. T)úin púmconn- 
fach, B., "Dun Fam Connrach" [or 
the Fort of Fan Connrach, (i.e., of the 
Church of Conrad.)] CC bpctn nnc 
ConnyvaT), "at Fan mic Conurad." 
^1««. Inis/. {Dubl.) A.D. 979. 



But if lie do not come from the South 
To Belach Lechta, the evergreen, 
Let him answer at his house 
The Dal Cais and the son of Cennedigh. 

For him shall not be accepted from them 
Gold, nor silver, nor land. 
Nor hostages, nor cattle, Man ! 
Tell them this and go. 


LXVI. Then Brian' fought the Battle of Belach Lechta, in ^attk of 
which fell Maelmuadh, son of Bran, king of Mumhain, and Lechta, 
twelve himdi-ed along with him, both Gaill and Gaedhil ; J"^/^oí^ 
and he took the hostages of Mumhain even unto the sea. mnadh,^ 

After that Brian gained battle of Fan Comucli^ over B^^^'ie'^of ' 
the foreigners. And he ravaged and plundered^ the Desi Fan Con- 
even to Port Lah-ge, and he banished him who had yjy ' 
forced the war on him,^ to wit, Domhnall, the son of 
Faelán, of Port Lairge, and he took^ the hostages of all 
Mumhain, as the fruit of his arms then^ ; and he took the 
hostages of the principaF churches of Mumhain, that 
they should not receive rebels nor thieves to sanctuary in 
the churches. 

After this there was an expedition under Brian of all ?"^"gg 
the men of Mumhain into Osraighe ; and GiUapatric, son Ossoiy, 
of Donnchadli, was put in fetters by him ; and he took 
his hostao-es, i.e. of the kino; of Osraio-he. He went after ^^^ ^®^"" 

» ' o o , . ster. 

that to Magh Ailbhe,^ where the two kings of Laghin 

came into^ his house, yiz., Domhnall Cloen, and Tuathal, 

king of western Liphi, and he took their hostages' °; this 

3 Plundered. For -fio h]\^y ocuy" 
fio aiYige^-^cctTi, B. reads, yio aiiicc, 
"he plundered." 

* On him. For yio fm'^ m cacaT) 
aip,, B. in more modern spelling reads, 
■p,o f^ctij -paiifi an cojaT). 

5 He took, 'gabai'p, B. 

6 Then. (Xnuaip. -p.n, B., "at 
that time." 

7 Principal. B. reads, ociir fiO jctb 

biaoij-De cectll. niuTtian, «|\ na 
■paccbax) ai ■p i n n clea'oa n o pojl cti -óe 
mncib: "And he took hostages of 
the churches of Munster, that they 
should not receive robbers or thieves 
within them." 

8 Miujh Ailhhe. B. reads, 7 -do 
cuaiT) ctppn 1 nunj C£ilbe. 

9 Into. In a ceac, B. 

1'-^ Hostages. B. omits this clause. 


co^ccdVi ^a:e*Dtiel r& sccllccibli. 

king of all 
A.D. 984. 

prince of 
A.D. 988. 


treaty with 
lain, A.D. 

Revolt of 
and of the 
from Brian. 

OCT: mbliccDcm a\\ ma]ibccT) marh^amna. CCniUii'D y^u 
ba 1^1 Leri 111 05a 0]xicm. Ho -moltcD u\6]\ coblac 
miiiiiT)i lei|Mai>pn po^a "Dei^ic T)eiv-C, octif imccaiT: z\\^ 
.c lefraii leip, po^i SniainT) co Loc Pan, ociif i^o 
hiniie'D IIITD1 leif co litlfnec, ociii^ 110 ciiecpcrc Of-epini 
lib 'Dctp CCéLicfc fiictf. T)a ciia-aii, -on a, 11. cei: cqx pi ceo 
iKcrib 1 Conctcrct coiToepiifcrc olca 1no]^a «itd, ocuf cop.- 
maiibfcrc imuiiipup mac Concobmia iii5T)cmina Conctcr, 
ociif 110 TnayibaT), ctm, -pocai-Di Dib peom. ^Y leip 
iDpocaiii HiiC[iT)]\i mac Copcpaij [^\i] 11a mbimnn 
ocnp la^iT^aiyi Coiiacr. If leip i-opocaiii llliriipii]' mac 
Rtia-Din ia|ifiTi. 

"Da ponaD T)an mo^icoblac la 0]iiaii co piem pao- 
"051 CO came Tnoelpeclaiii'D ina comDail, co iToepiipaT: 
y\-c aiiT) .1. ijiabi tdo biiaigt^ib Leci lllo^a ic lHoelpec- 
laniT) .1. biictgoi ^abl ocuf Lagen, a T^abaipi; t)o Opian, 
ocup tla pacjutc CCthh, ocuf tla lllam leip, ociip 
Dilfi Leii CmiTD o bin amac cen coccaT) cen -po^ail 
Ó bin an vo ÍTIaelfeclainT) .1. T)a blucDaiii pin ]\e cai; 
^liiini 111 am a. 

LXVII. CC^x iiec imoiipo "Domnaill Cloen mac tofL- 
can 1^1 Lcc^en, bor^aii La^ni ocuf gailb co hampiaiiac 

1 EiffJd years. B. begins a new 
paragraph here. CC cciiTO occ m- 
blm-oan imoyiiio layi, TnoiT.l3aT) 
m atsaiii n a Yio gab b yii an bi\«i j'oe 
ocu-p laniftise Leire HI 05a. "Now 
at the end of eight years after the 
murder of Mathgamhain, Brian took 
the hostages, and the full sovereignty 
of Leth Mogha," i.e., of the southern 
half of Ireland. 

2 Bi/ him. he byiian, B., "by 
Brian." Omitting lafifin. 

3 Boats. B. reads cyii. c ectcctifi 
leip ayi -Sionainn, " Three hundred 
ships with him on the Shannon." 

* Hundred. B. reads, u. eacaji 
picec: "five score ships." 

3 Connacht. IcConnacraib, B., 
"against the Connaditmen." 

6 Gi'eat evils. 11 lea niiTia, B., 
"many evils." 

7 The>/ killed, 'gu^x liiaiibacaix 
TTItnyigep mac Concabaiix fi\- 
"Daiiina Coi'macc, ocu-p •pocai'oe 
ete, B., "So that jMuirghes, son of 
Conchobhair, crown prince of Con- 
nacht, and many others, were killed." 

8 Bi/ him. 1p leo coixcaija, B., 
" By them was killed ;" and the same 
reading is repeated instead of ^y^ Leir 
TDlxocai^x in the next line. 

9 Kinff. Hi is added from B. 

10 Muirghius. Vi\\i\x^ey.i B. 

^1 Afterwards. B. connects this 
word with what follows, la^xpin x:]xa 
■DO laona-n. " Afterwards was made 
by Brian," &c. 



was eight years ^ after the mm-der of Mathgamhain. 
Thus Brian was the king of Leth Mogha. Afterwards 
there was assembled by him" a great marine fleet on 
Derg Deirc ; and he took three hundred boats^ with him 
upon the Sinann as far as Loch Rai ; and Midhe was 
ravaged by him as far as Uisnech ; and they plundered 
all Breifne beyond Ath Liag upwards. There went also 
five hundred"* and twenty from them into Connacht^ ; 
and they perpetrated gi'eat evils° there, and they killed^ 
Muirghius, son of Conchobhar, crown prince of Connacht, 
and there were killed also many of themselves. It was 
by him^ was slain Ruaidhri, son of Coscrach [king]^ of 
Ui Briuin, and of western Connacht. And it was by him 
Muirghius/ ° the son of Ruaidhri, was slain afterwards.'^ 

Brian now made a great naval expedition to Plein 
Pattoici/'^ where Maelsechlainn cam^ to meet him, and 
they concluded a mutual peace there, viz., such hostages 
of Leth Mogha as Maelsechlainn had, i.e. hostages'^ of the 
foreigners and of the Laghin, and likewise of the Ui 
Fiachrach Aidhne, and of the Ui Maine, to be ceded to 
Brian ; and the sole sovereignty of Leth Cuinn> from 
thenceforth,'"* to belong to Maelsechlainn without war or 
trespass from Brian. This was two years before the battle 
of Glenn Mama.*^ 

LXVIL Now,'*^ after the death of Domlmall Cloen, son 
of Lorcan,'^ king of Laghin, the Laghin and the foreigners 

king of all 
A.D. 984. 

prince of 
A.D. 988. 

treaty with 
lain, A.D. 

12 Plein Pattolci. OLein Pacoici, B. 

13 Hostages. B. reads, .i. ct -jiiailJe 
"DO biaais-Dib Leice tnoga, 7 '^aXX, 
ocviy Laijeaii 05 inaeLeclamn : 
" Such hostages of Leth Moglia, and 
of the foreigners, and of the Leinster- 
men, as Maelsechlainn had." 

1^ ThencefoTth. Oy^in amctc gctn 
cogaT), gan pograL -do Oixicm a|x 
m ael|^ec1i lai n n , B. 

15 Glenn Mama. The battle of Glen 
IMama is dated 998 (the 20th year of 
Maelsechlainn) , by the Four Masters ; 
but A.D. 1000, according to O'Fla- 

herty's Chronology; andj therefore, 
the alliance or treaty recorded in this 
chapter must be dated 996 (-t M.), or 
998 (O'Fl.) 

16 Now. B. omits iííioifi|io. 

17 Son of Lorcan. These words are 
omitted hi B. The death of Domh- 
nall Cloen is dated 983, by the Four 
]\I., the 5th year of IMaelsechlainn, 
which in O'Flaherty's Chronology 
would be 985, so that the revolt of 
Leinster must have begun twelve or 
thirteen years before the treaty with 

Eevolt of 
and of the 
from Brian. 


co^cTDli scce"Dnel ne sccllccibli. 

"DO bjiian, ocuf bccrcqa ic robiiucóctT) coccaiT» ]:\\^ Op-iaii, 

ocuf Pill ITliiiTinecaib aificena. "Valwv, nnoiip-o, Ojiicm 

octif nioiirinol peayi TTItiinan leif co Lai^nvb, octif co 

1^11 till .1. T)0 ^abail po^i CCv Clurc no co ]iiaiiai^T:ip 

^mll. Ro cw^^^c -Dctn ba, ocnp 1111111^:6110 La^en 111 

afcmll gall, ociif 1 ntlib bimi ChualanT», ociif 1 ntlib 

^ab^ia, ocuf 1 ntlib 'Doncct'Da, octif T;anc(rca|i La^in 

ocup 5CÍ1II pec na miinT:eiu[ib 1 conni mOinccm, ociip a 

Battle of coiiiDcnl .1. CO ^^cnT) mcdTia. Vio compai^peT: an-o pin 

Mima bpiccn CO 1TI umnecaib, ocup gaill co Laignecaib leo. 

A.D. 1000. Uo pepccD, imopp-o, ccrc piilec, picDa, popDepc, peoccnp, 

peap-oa, pep.ccinail, cc^apb, aniap^a, epcapDcnictil, eT:iip-pii 

ocup I'Depaii: [pipit ocup eolaig nap cinpecrb ó ccrc 

TTlmse Rcrca niictp dp -oaine ba mo ma pin. "Do -11 10- 

pear; ann pochai'oe do T)al cCaip, octip vo TTltiini- 

neachaiíí apcena ; po cuioi^eau ann pop^la gall CC^a 

TheLein- Clictc, ocup ^abl ©pcnn iiilc, ociip ruccax) áp Lai^en; 

andDanes ^'^^ ^l"^*^"^ ^^~ V-^ miw^ pop 11 a ^allailj, ociip pop 11 a laij- 

of Dublin nig. Ho mapbax» cpa ann CCpalo mac CCmlaib pi 

Damna ^all Openn, ocup Cuilen mac Ccoi§epn, ocup 

.xl. céi) inipo vo neoc ap peapp baoi do ^allailj a 

nQpenn, ocup leanaix» Opian laD co pan^a^ap in DÚn, 

50 nebpax) — 


1 Against Brian. PaijX, ocup pop, 
mtiiiiain ayicena, B., "against Mm 
and against Miunhain also." 

2 The Laghin. Co gulla, octip 
CO Laijniti Tio galSait ayi CCtchat 
no CO YiKtifi'Daipe, B., "against the 
foreigners and against the Laghin," 
[or men of Leinster,] "to lay siege to 
Ath Cliath until it submitted to him." 

3 The cattle, buayi, B. 

* Angle. B. reads, inopj^aill- 
gatt in Uib bifiium Cualcmn 7 
1 nib gaBiria: "Into the angle of 
the foreigners in Ui Briuin Cuallan, 
and into Ui Gabhra." It is possible 
that Ascall Gall, "the angle of the 
Gaill," ought to be regarded as a pro- 

per name, denoting some place pos- 
sessed by the foreigners. The reading 
of B. would seem to make it a place 
in the territory of Ui Briuin Cualann, 
a district embracing the greater part 
of the barony of Eathdo'wn, and a 
portion of the north of the co. Wick- 
low. See Dr. O'Donovan's note ", 
Four M., 738 (p. 3-iO). Ascall or 
Asgall (Latin axilla'), is the arm pit; 
and hence an angular piece of ground, 
like the space between a man's arm 
and his body. 

5 Beyond: i.e., in advance of their 
families (more to the south of the 
districts to which they had sent their 
wives and children), in order to inter- 



became disobedient to Brian, and were menacing war 
against Brian, ^ and against the people of Mmiihain also. 
Brian, therefore, marched, with a great muster of the men 
of Mumhain, against the Laghin^ and against the foreign- 
ers, intending to lay siege to Ath Cliath imtil the foreign- 
ers shonld submit to him. But now the cattle^ and the 
fa m ilies of Laghin were sent into the angle^ possessed by 
the foreigners, and into Ui Briuin Chualann ; and into 
Ui Gabln-a, and to Ui Donnchadlia. And the Laghin 
and the Gaill came beyond'* their families to meet Brian 
and into his presence, viz., to Glemi Mama. They met Battle of 
there ; Brian mth the Mumhnio-h, and the foreigners ^J*^" 

. ° o Mama, 

accompamed by the Laghin ; and there was fought be- A.D. looo. 
tween them a battle, bloody, furious, red, valiant, heroic, 
manly ; rough, cruel, heartless ; and [men'' of intelligence 
and learning say that since the battle of Magh Rath,^ to 
that time, there had not taken place a greater slaughter. 
There fell there multitudes of the Dal Cais, and of the 
Muimhnigh in general ; there fell there the greater part 
of the foreigners of Ath Cliath, and of the foreigners of 
all Erinn ; and there was also a slaughter of the Laghin ; The Lein- 
for, in short, the foreigners and the Lagliin were utterly ster-men 
defeated. And there were killed there Aralt, the son of DubUn^ 
of Amlaibh, the crown prince of the foreigners of Erimi, defeated. 
and Cuilean, the son of Echtighern, and four thousand 
along with them, of the best of the foreigners of Erinn. 
And Brian followed them till they reached the Dun,* 
whereupon was said — 

cept Brian's march. B. reads, 'Can- 
gacai^ 501II ocuy' taijm ■jpeoc na 
Tntiinrei\ail5 1 ccoinne Oixiain 50 
glean-D 111 úma. " The Gaill and the 
Laghin came in advance of their fam- 
ilies, against Brian at Glen ISIama." 

6 And [rnen. B. reads, Ro pectyiaT) 
imoiaifio eacoifi|ia cat puileac pic- 
"oa, pop.'oeav-h, peaix-oa, pectiiaiiiail/, 
ainmin,' agcq^b, aiiTiaYiT)a, eaf- 
ccccii\'Deaiiiail. CCcii|^ ct 'oeii\ic, &c. 

The passage which follows in brackets 
from this place to the last line on p. 114, 
is wanting in D., and has been supplied 
from B. The Irish reader will perceive 
the change of orthography. 

7 llciffk Rath. See the historical 
romance of the battle of Magh Rath, 
published by the Irish Archreological 

8 The Dun: i.e., the dun or fortress 
of Ath Cliath, i.e., of Dublin. 


cosccdTi 5CceT)liel Re ^ccllccibíi. 

of the 

Pa-oa an iiuccigfi uaimc biiian 
O ^Imn ITlcmici co hCCt-Clicrc. 

The Castle 
of Dublin 
and burned. 

Poem on 
the battle 
of Glenn 

'Cti^fam ficcifi af a dúii, 

Tugfarn coilcib, niccfani clúiii, 

"Cu^faiii eic niaite inecqia, 

If iiiiia blcdte bangeala. 
"Oo cmiifioc X)al cCcdf anéj 

CCn la i"in -oa picec cét), 

■8ochaiT)e ó iiujfcrc ba, 

If TDa TXii5faT: la faDct. 


LXVIII. Uo hiii'D]iaT) imojiiio an 'Di'in leó, ociif ^lo 
haiii^ex), ociif ^lo bai Ofiian «^i fin a pfoflon^poiiu 
ifin mbctile ó no'olaic m6\i co noDlmc becc 'Came 
lajifin iiMn iiiaii^a-D, ocuf |io loifceax» an 'Dim inle leó, 
ocuf nifipa^aitiifioT: cifce ^^cca'ima■\r\ ^an po^Tjuil; amail 
afbejii: an pile, a^ inifin peel anx): — 
Cat ^Inine ITlaina if iiió|i me|X, 
Í1Í cfiuaiT)e cat "oap ciu\iex>, 
"Dfif, a fta-oa ni -[Kxb 50, 
CC úpa fa eafbat)o. 
CC C'jxo'óact; if a cpuaf, 
CC laenicuifie fa lánluaf, 
Inroa in gac z^át 'oocaft "oe, 
Cac a^ epochal) a céile. 
"CpeagTiat) i]^ cioppat) cneaf, 
■Scolcai) ceriT) ccaorii coniiDeaf, 
'Cpoigte comalla, ni giiac, 
Ocuf lama 50 lanltiat. 
Inita inapb leofan if lib, 
X)peaiiia rran'iaib fa cainib, 
X)peaiii TDanap luain gan pixniapaT), 
^o cpuaif) aga ccombualaT). 

1 Ath Cliatli. The remainder of this 
quatrain is missing in B., but space 
is left for it, as if the scribe had 
been unable to decipher the antient 

MS. from which he copied, but hoped 
to repair the defect from some other 


Long was that route by whicli Brian came, Poetical 

From Glenn Mama to Ath Cliath."' celebration 

of the 

We brought silk out of the fortress ; 

We brought bedding ; we brought feathers ; 
We brought steeds goodly and fleet, 
And blooming white fair women. 
The Dal Cais put to death 

On that day two score hundred^ ; 
Many they deprived of cows, 
And gave them a long daj^ ! 

LXVIII. The fortress then was plundered by them and The Castle 
ransacked ; and Brian at that time remained encamped in °í Dublin 

' -*■ plundered 

the town irom great Christmas to little Christmas.'' He andbumed. 
came then into the market, and the whole fortress was 
bin-ned by them, and they left not a treasure under 
ground that they did not discover. As the poet said in 
relating the story of it — 

The battle of Glenn Mama was great and rapid ; poem on 

No harder battle was ever fougrht : — the battle 

The man w^ho says so makes no false assertion — Ma a"™ 

For its slaughters and its losses ; 
Its valom' and its severity ; 

Its championship and its fuU impetuosity ; 

Many on every side were its misfortunes, 

Each party destroying the other. 
Piercing, and hacking of bodies, 

Cleaving of comely and handsome heads, 

Feet in action — it is not false ! — 

And hands in full activity. 
Many were the dead of them and of you ; 

Crowds in trances and in swoons ; 

Crowds of ready Danars, without cessation, 

Bravely contending with them. 

2 Two score hundred. This seems to 
mean a hundred times two score : i.e., 
4,000, a number probably exagge- 

3 A long day: i.e., spared their lives 
for some time longer. 

* Christmas: i.e, from Christmas Day 
to the Epiphany. 



co^ccDti scceTDliel ne ^cdlccibti. 

Value of 
the spoil 

How the 
Danes ob- 
tained their 

pat)C( 'DO Baf tinne pn 

O iiiaiT)in CO 'Dubiióiiaig, 

^X^ \:ana no hax)]\at) ve, 

Cac cc^ maiibat) acéile. 
Rii5fcn: ineic na ]x^■^ biiyictc, 

"C^ae cere na njall co rnnrliac, 

^up, cuiiafcrc cat ^all co ciittcdt), 

'C^xé ccrc na ngaoi-oeal -jpaificiiai'D. 
"Do byxifef) an cat a)ipn 

CCyv eigin a|i na jallaib, 

X)a céi) 'oéce ni beg a htai), 

Innifueajx ann vo maifiba'D. 
Cot 111 mge Rat lae reay^ca, 

llo cat moll ITlinje liCalra, 

tloca ninnfamail ini iiat, 

If bayiariiail "Don aon cat. 


LXIX. 1f é fin aon lonax) af mo a ffiíí v6\\ ocuf 
TDcniiccet;, ocuf 'DpionnDjunne, ocuf "do leccaiB, ociif do 
geamctilj cqiiwio^cnl, ociif vo coiincnB biiabaill, ocuf 
TDO blei'oe'Daiíí blaice. Ho T^ionóilex) co haon lonax) na 
■peoirT: fin Leo. TDoft ^na De-oei'Dilj exanila gaca Dora 
f^iii ann fof. ÍI1 \^a^X) imo^ipo Diin no Daingean, no 
Dionpia, no ceall, no caDaf, no nemiei) no ^aBax» 
]iif an n^láim n5lipix)i5, nglonninaiii, n^nuifnuii do 
Ijí ag reaglann, ociif ct^ reacca^i na hODala fin, ó^\l 
ni fiailje ipolac fo ralniain in G|xinn ma fct Dianiiiaili 
DÍceabt;a a^ pianaiB no ag ficctiiiiaiB ni na ftia|\aT:a|i 
na *Danmafi5ai§ allmaiiT)a m^anraca fin, z\ie ^einT:- 
biDecT:, ocuf r^ie ioT)alaT)fOT). 111 op. Dna do innaiB, 
ocuf DO macamaiB, ocuf DingeanailS rii^aD po Daipe, 
ocup po Docap leo,] ocup |io Dli^pei: in 111 pin ; Dai 5 ip 

1 Bark noon: i.e., midnight. 

2 Gaill. The original Avords, Gaill, 
foreigners, and Gaedhil, Gael or Irish, 
are here retained because of the allite- 
ration evidently intended by the poet. 

3 Maffh EaJta. No such battle is re- 
corded in the Irish Annals, unless the 

battle of Cloiitarf be intended, in which 
afterwards Brian fell. Clontarf was a 
part of the antient plain called Sean 
Magh Ealta Eadair, Four Mast., A.M. 

^ B// them: i.e., by Brian and his 


Long did they continue in tliis way, 

From the morning unto the dark noon' ; 

Long were the horrors continued, 

Each party killing the other. 
The sons of the kings made a brave charge 

Through the ranks of the sorrowing Gaill^ • 

And fiercely drove the ranks of the Gaill 

Through the ranks of the Gaedhil north-eastwards. 
The battle was thereupon gained 

By force against the GaUl ; 

Twelve hundred — not small the glory ! — 

Are recorded to have there been killed. 
The battle of Magh Rath, as it is described, 

Or the great battle of Magh Ealta,^ 

Are not equal in prosperous results, 

Nor to be compared with this one battle. 

The Battle. 

LXIX. It was in that one place were found the great- Value of 
est quantities of gold and silver, and bronze [finndruiiie], ^^^ ^P*'^^ 
and precious stones, and carbuncle-gems, and buffalo horns, 
and beautiful goblets. All these valuables were collected 
by them'' to one place. Much also of various vestures 
of all colours was found there likewise. (For never was How the 
there a fortress, or a fastness, or a mound, or a church, or J^^^^ °^~^ 
a sacred place, or a sanctuary, when it was taken by that wealth, 
howling, furious, loathsome crew, which was not plun- 
dered by the collectors and accumulators of that wealth. 
Neither was there in concealment under gTound in Erinn, 
nor in the various solitudes belonging to Fians or to 
fairies, any thing that was not discovered by these 
foreign, wonderful Demnarkians, tlnrough paganism^ and 
idol worship.) Many women also, and boys, and girls, 
were brought to bondage and ruin by them^ ;] and the 

5 Through paganism. The meaning I power of their idols, were enabled to 
is, that notwithstanding the potent | find them out. 

spells employed by the Fians and fai- 6 By thevi : i.e., by Brian and his 

ries of old for the concealment of party. D. adds, atiTD-pin there, or on 
their hidden treasures, the Danes, by íAaíoccasiow, and then proceeds as after 
their pagan magic and the diabolical ! the bracket in the text. The clause 



C05cc"d1i ^cce'Dliel ne ^ccllccibti. 

The com- 
plete sub- 
jection of 
the foreiicn- 



He remains 
at Dublin 
five weeks. 


11111 'DajioiKCT» iiTDOcaiiiT), ocuf ifiar )\o infm^ iccofnuni 
acjuci, ocii)^ apo^iba -pern poyipo. Cit) Tina act; iioiTiipo 
a fen ocii)^ afoliiT) an-Dfin |iif na gallaib, ocuf ^ac olc 
"Dcqionpcrc raf^af offo pom cm t;oTiiaif. C£\i in micfo 
pofaiiiifeu 7)0 peajiib ©iieiTO if pen po mi'oe'D "DOib. 

Olc ifén -DO ^cdlaib, inioffo, fo^eiucip. iii pUct pin 
.1. Oiiian mac Cen'Deri^. "Dai^ if leif fomccfbcnt:, 
fomiiT)ai5i-, fo-Dilafipr, fOT)oefaiT; if iionni^fcmaipT:. 
Concc fctbi cctrlec ó OeinD e-T)C(if co Hec 'Diiin'o 
icifne-fiiTO ^ccn ^all mT)Ccifi faif, ociif nccfccb bfo ^ccn 
^aillfi^. Conafbcf ni fi mac oclai^ no ocri^ifiTo vo 
5oeT)elaib a-oofnT) im fiiifr; no im opaif ele af rctl- 
main, ocuf ni moba ni f e mna ni "DOfnT» im meli bfon, 
no film bafpni, no ni^i a heraig, acT: ^all no jaillfec 

[LXX. Ci'iicc cara fleet; in fo rfe^'oa'o a rraoit) fo- 
Dein, affCT) fo ffaoin Ojiian fOffa, 511 f in ccao in fO 
mafbax» eféin, ^envnora T)ebra af.cena. Ho bai im- 
moffo Ofian annfin o no-olaic móf. -go fell Ofi^De. 
Ro biiTDf-at) Laipn leif ace becc^ ocuf fo ^ab b^iai^-oe, 
ocu]' f-o loifcceax) Coill Comaif leif, ociif fo leT)faT>, 
ocuf fo f ei-Di^e'b beil|e ociif 'oaingne leif. Ro elo im- 

describing how the Danes came by their 
great wealth is a parenthetical digres- 
sion, after which the narrative returns 
to the spoil taken by the victorious 
Brian and his followers. 

1 Deserved. B. reads, ocuf tdo 
-DliffioT: f lúni in ni fin oiiri ifia-o 
501LL 110 lonnfaig la-o -00 copiaiii 
a ccyiice, ocuf a poiiba "Ditif 
■pem pYiiu : " And they had de- 
served that treatment, for the foreign- 
ers had begun the attack to contest 
with them their own country and 
their beloved lawful inheritance." In 
the use of they and them both MSS. are 
somewhat confused, meaning by those 
pronoims sometimes the Irish, some- 
times the Danes, or other foreigners. 
To avoid this confusion, a slight liberty 
has been taken in the translation 

by substituting " iJie foreigners" for 

~ TJie respect. These words, to the 
end of the paragraph, are omitted 
in B. 

3 111 Inch. B. reads, Otc imoYiTfio 
an fen -do 5ull/ail5 in l^a ^.o gencdia 
in 5il/Le fin : "Bad was the luck of 
the foreigners on the day when that 
youth was born." 

* Exterminated. B. reads, ocuf iio 

s Winnoidiif/ sheet. CcciUec, B., 
'• an old woman." 

6 Western Erinn. B. reads, in laifl- 
ta]\ 6'ifien'D, "in the west of Erinn," 
but the other reading, no ^a\l nC'p.inT), 
is given as a gloss in O'CIerj-'s hand 
over these words. From Benu Edair 
[now Howth], to Tech Duinn [an 



foreigners ha.d deserved' that treatment, because by them 
the provocation had been given, and they had been the 
aggressors to contest with them [i.e., tvith Brian and 
his folloivers'] their own comitry and their lawful in- 
heritance. However, their good luck and fortune then 
turned against the foreigners, and all the e\áls they had 
hitherto inflicted were now fully avenged on them. For 
the respect'^ which they had measured to the men of Erinn, 
was by the same standard now measured to themselves. 

Ill luck^ was it, however, for the foreigners when that The com- 
youth was born, viz., Brian, the son of Cenneidio;h ; for it ?''^í-'' ^^^^I 

•J . . C5 ' jection of 

was by him they were killed, destroyed, exterminated,'* the foreign- 
enslaved, and bondaged. So that there was not a win- ^'^ 
]i owing sheet'^ from Benn Edair to Tech Duinn, in west- 
ern Erinn, ^ that had not a foreigner in bondage on it, nor 
was there a quern without a foreign w^oman.'' So that no 
son^ of a soldier or of an officer of the Gaedliil deigned 
to put his hand to a flail, or any other labour on earth ; 
nor did a woman^ deign to put her hands to the grinding 
of a quern, or to knead a cake, or to wash her clothes, but 
had a foreign man or a foreign woman'*' to work for them. 

[LXX. Five and twenty battles, in which their own Brian's 
sides were pierced, did Brian gain over them, mcluding t"*^enty-five 
the battle in which he himself was killed, besides sundiy 
skii'mishes. Brian remained in that place from gi-eat He remains 
Christmas'' tiU the festival of Brigit. Laighin was fi*,^^^^^^^ 
ravaged by him, except a small portion, and he took hos- 
tages ; and Coill Comair was bm-ned by him, and hewn Ravages 
down, and passages and fortresses cleared by him. But Am- ^^^s^^"^- 

island off the south-western point of 
Kerry], was evidently a usual mode of 
describing the sovithern half of Ireland. 
' Foreign ivoman. In the original, 
fjaillseck. A quern is a stone hand- 
mill stiU used in many parts of Ireland. 

8 No son. Conal^ bo ni te mac 
occi/aig no oicccijeif.n, B. 

9 A woman. iJiifi bo ill te mnaoi 
a torii im mete h\\ón no im pinne 
baiYi5ine, B. 

10 Foreign woman. Lit., " A gall or 
a gaillsech." 'gall ocuy^ gaillpech 
na •Denarii, B. "Oanenctm in D. is 
for T)C( n-oenam. Here another portion 
of the text (chaps. Ixx. to first para- 
gi-aph of chap. Ixxii. incl.') is supplied 
from B. in consequence of an imper- 
fection in D., from the loss of a leaf. 

11 From great Christmas: i.e., from 
December 25 to February 1, inclusive. 
See p. 1 13, note *. 


cosccoti scceT)"hel n& sallccibTi. 

Amlaif flies 
to Ulster. 

Submits to 

of Mael- 
king of 


lainn, king 
of Ireland, 
A.D. 1002. 

A month's 
agreed to. 

mojiiio CCiTilailj \i\ gall iUó an caret, ocuy \\o vi«c- a^^ 
^ac loiiaT) 'DGif acéile co |iiacT; co IiUIIItjii. "Do ci'iaf 
1 mm 011^10 o biiKcn ma 'Diai§, ocuf in piKnix a-oion ace 
CCof), 110 ace eocai-D, 50 rraimc hi -ech biiiain hi ecinn 
laaice laiiam, ocuf t:uc abiieit; -péin -do biiian, ociif rucc 
bji-Km a 'bun -oofom. 

LXXI. Ro ^ab imoiaiio biiian maolmoii-Da mac llliiiv 
cha-Da alio an ca€a |ieime 111 iiiBaii rai-oe, ociif if e TTl ti^x- 
eha-D t:iicc ay an uiBaii -Da aimT)eóin he, ocuf bai hilláim 
oce bf Kcn ^iiii ^ab bf ai^-oe Lai^en mle. Ho hofflcncce'D 
TDe cqifin, octif rucca-D byiail-oe Lai|en vó, ociif yo 
hairfio^af) T)onnchaT> mac 'Domnaill Claoin yieime. 

'Cainie imo^iiio bjiian T)a ri^h Kqifin, 50 fubac 
foimenmnac, ocuf co cofcciaach eommai'omec amail 
ba mmic laif. Ifet» innifir liicr; pefa, ocuf fenchufa 
conac iiaibe ii^iiiaiTDh 'Dpe1^a1b ITluman T»on t^vlnaige'D 
fin ^an a'obaf. arighe-Dhaif leif Tiof ociif "Daifccecr: 
ocuf T)éTxac Tia^a, ociif va gac lonnmaff afcena ; coniT) 
"Da poif^ell fin T)0 ixonax) an Diian. 

LXXII. *t)o fionaT) mof flucdsex» tei^e ITlGsa mle 
le bfian laffin e7:if gnllae oetif ^aoi-Dela co fiacc 
'Cemfai| na fio^, ocuf fo etiifex» recra ua-oa co TTlael- 
eclainn mac "Oomnaill co fi Temfac, ocuf fo fifit; 
bfai^'oe faif no cab muna aenrai-bex) bfai5T)e, ocuf 
ru cca-D af 05a -do ITI aoi leclai n n "di bf 1 n .] Ro f 1 f , 1 m of yio, 
TTloelfeclain'o cafDi mif vo fi comrinoil ten CiimT», 
octif zn^av in cafoi fin "dó can cfeic can inf.eT) can 
aif^ni ^an fo^ail can foflofcu-o, ocUf bfian in fOf- 
longpoft; y\iy fin |ie fin 1 remfaic. 

1 With Aedh: i.e., Amlaff, the Dan- 
ish king, was not received by Aedh, 
or Hugh O'Neill, the chief of the 
Ulaid, or northern Ulstermen, nor by 
Eochaidh, the chieftain of the East of 
Ulster, to whom he had fled for pro- 

2 IJouse: i.e. submitted to Brian. See 
p. 123, line 3. 

3 His fortress : i.e., his dun or fortress 
of Dublin. 

* MurcJiadJi: i.e., Murchadh or Mor- 
rogh, son of Brian. Maelmordha, or 
Maelmóra, son of Murchadh [i. e., 
of a different and older Murchadh], 
was the king of Leinster, and brother 
of Gormlath, Brian's third wife. 

5 The poem. Meaning apparently 
the poem given above in chap. lx\'iii. 

<5 Maehech lainn. Here we return to the 
text of D. B. reads, ocup yio piaej^- 
caiii lllaelfeclamn cairi.'oe íinf. 


laibh, king of the foreigners, fled on the day of the battle, Amiaff flies 
and went from one place to another, until he came to the '^ ^^^^' 
Ulaid. But he was pursued by Brian's orders ; and he found 
not shelter with Aedli, ' nor with Eochaidh ; so that he Submits to 
came into Brian's house^ in a quarter of a year after, and "*"* 
submitted to Brian's own terms, and Brian restored his 
fortress^ to him. 

LXXI. Brian captured also Maelmordlia, son of Mur- Capture 
chadh, on the day of the aforesaid battle, concealed in a n^o^^ja' 
yew tree ; and it was Murchadh* that forcibly di'agged king of 
him out of the tree ; and he continued in captivity with 
Brian until Brian received the hostages of all Laighin. 
He was then liberated, and the hostages of Laighin were 
given to him, and Donnchadh, son of Domhnall Cloen, 
was dethroned for him. 

Brian now returned to his home after this, cheer- Brian's 
fully, in good spirits, victoriously and triumphantly, as tr^unphant 
was his wont. Men of learning and historians say that home, 
there was not a yeoman of the men of Mumhain on that 
expedition who had not received enough to furnish his 
house with gold and silver, and cloth of colour, and all 
kinds of property in like manner. And it was to com- 
memorate this the poem'^ was made. 

LXXII. A great expedition of all LethMogha, both GaiU Brian's 
and Gaedhil, was afterwards made by Brian, until they against'^ 
reached Temhair of the kings ; and messengers were sent Maeisech- 
from them to Maelsechlainn, son of Domhnall, king of of ireiandf 
Temhair, and they demanded hostages from him, or battle, ^-^- ^^O^. 
should he refuse hostages, and Maelsechlainn was given 
his choice of these.] Maelsechlainn,^ however, requested A month's 


a month's delay to muster Leth Cuinn ; and that delay was aoreed 
given to him''', dming which no plunder or ravage, no 
destruction or trespass, or burning, was to be inflicted 
upon him. And Brian remained encamped^ during that 
time in Temhair. 

7 To him. B. omits t>o, " to him." i Brian was in Temhair [i.e., Tara], 
^Encamped. B. reads, ocu^O]\ian ! during that time;" viz., during the 
1 c'Cemi'tccig pixi|^ an \\e pn : " And time of the truce. 



cosccT>íi ^cceT)liel ne ^ccllccibli. 

Maeisech- 1|-> ipm comcc]ili 'Dct iionciT» lcc llloelveclaiiiT» cinDfen'i 
e^ssyto ^i^l-Ct Cotii^cnll tla Slebm, olUnii tllaD, ocuf in ^uaif- 
the kings of ceiuT: aucGiia T)o cuu ttu ceiTD CCeT)C( 11 íleillni CCelix, 

Ulster and ' ' ^ -^ ^ , ^^i <- 

Connaught. ocuf a|i ceiTD eoccTOa mic CCiT.T)5aiL I'll ulaT), ocup recoa 
ele cqx cenT) Ccrcail itiic Concubaii ]\) Coiiact;, ocuf "oa 
cifTTccif Leu CuiiTD CO heniiiemnac leofen ccrc -peia^ac 
-peiiamccil "do mbcofir; -do b]iian, ociiy -do teir nio^a, 
ocuf ■ixíM''''^ctcT: T^emiucc t)o copnum i^ui. mem rifriv 
fin, imoiiiio, "DO cofinim fCdiiDCici: ^161111^010, ba hi ct 
coiTia]"ili bjia^-i vo zahmxiz vo Oiiicm, Dcn^ ní bí ccco- 
TTiain^ Lea TTIosa t)o iiefT:al aci feom cc eimii, ocuf 
nija ba 1^a^]\^ T)Oi^om can "Ceiniiais t»c( cofniim olDaf 
T»o clanncdb íleill, ocnf -do faeyiclannccib Leíi CuinT) 

LXXIII. ConiT» cmT) tdo i^o^ni 'giUa Com^aill 11 a 
Slebin in 'Diicílivct 1 ^iiepacr CCeT)a Uct 1<leill, octif 15a 
Sliifai) DO -ccbaiiit: caret vo O^iian — 

CC titibiaaT) ixib -duI po'Deai^, 

tlialani leif ac Ungeac lif 

"Oo TDebai-D jie regllac 'Cail, 

T)a iiiacc ó "Cemiiaij pal pif. 
pa-oa ixe hCiiiiiT), CCet), 

CC qxaeb oebinx) cmt) 11 IliaU, 

Co uotigba Lee C11111T) ayt co^\, 

Co roifxea riiniT) mbi^oin a^x O^xmn. 
Oenacra pe^x iiC-iaeriT) o^ir, 

11a leic lonna lebeiTD tear, 

\i^z ira á]\ pint 11I1 nocr, 

Ciii\ 1 b|ion vo Oiieginaig bale. 





address to 



1 Poei. B. omits the description, 
" the poet of the Ulaid and of all the 

2 Should come. B. reads, ocup "oa 
ci:iopcaipLecCuinn uileleipincqx 
pin CO Tiaen lonax), ocup co haén 
menmnac, ip ccté "do beiaa-o -do 
Oinmn, ocup vo Leic TTloja, ocup 
pae|\T)acc "Cenip-a "do copnaiii maifi 
pin ; ocup mtana ciopcaip "do cop- 

naiii paoippi ncc "And 
if all Leth jCuinn should come with 
them to one place and with one mind, 
then to give battle to Brian and to 
Leth Mogha, and to contend for the 
freedom of Temhair in like manner; 
but if they should not come to defend 
the freedom of Temhair, &c." 

^Because. B. reads, "DÓij ni bai 
acpams bi\iain ocup Leice lllosct 



The counsel that Maelsechlaimi adopted on this occasion Maelsech- 
wasto send GillaComgaill 0'Slebhin,the poet' of theUlaid, ^^J^'J^'^'^^, 
and of all the north, to Aedli O'Neill, king of Ailech, and the kings of 
to Eochaidh, son of Ai-dgal, king of the Ulaid, and another ConnL^'lft 
messenger to Cathal, son of Conchobhar, king of Con- 
nacht ; and if the Leth Cuinn should come^ unanimously 
with these, then to give a fmious and manly battle to 
Brian and the Leth Mogha, and to contend for the free- 
dom of Temhaii- with them. But should they not come 
to defend the freedom of Temhair, the counsel he adopted 
was to give hostages to Brian, because^ he had not the 
power by himself to meet the Leth Mogha ; and it was not 
more disgraceful for him not to contend for the freedom 
of Temhair than it was for the Clann Neill, and all the 
other clanns of Leth Cuhin as well. 

LXXIII. And it w^as* on that occiision that Gilla Com- oilla 
gain O'Slebhin made this poem, m-ging Aedlr O'Neill ^o™gaiii 

.... . . 'O Slebhin's 

and inciting him to give battle to Brian — 

Ye have been requh-ed to go southward ; 

Eeady too at Lis Luigheacb, 

To battle with the House of Tal ; 

From Temhair of Fal has come the message. 
Long does it seem to Erinn, Aedb, — 

O deHgbtfvú tree— bead of tbe CNeih, 

UntU tbou restorest Leth Cuinn to its rigbt — 

Until tbou bring a wave of woe upon Brian. 
Tbe blessings of the men of Erinn upon thee ; 

Let not a coward in tbe field go with tbee ; 

On tbee is all our hope to-nigbt — 

Dispel its sorrow from the sti'ong Magb Breagh. 

addi'ess to 

"DO coj'^cc aicce a aencqi, ocuy^ m 
1TIÓ bet ná|x 'Do-porri gan 'CeiiiaTp. -do 
coj^cc inú "DO clannailj tléilL: "be- 
caiise he had no power by himself to 
resist Brian and the Leth Mogha, and 
it was not more disgraceful for him 
not to defend Tara than it was to the 
clann Neill, &c." 

* And it was. The whole of this sec- 

tion, including the poem, is omitted in 
B. ; where we read here "Do ^xoine an 
pib a ceccaiiiecc amail ap peii^i 
rio pec piai hCCéT)íi. CC-pbeifxc imoii- 
\\o CCoT) Ó i-leill, 7c. : "The poet did 
his message as best he could for the in- 
formation of Aedh. Then Aedh O'Neill 
answered, &c.," as in chap. Ixxiv. 

122 co5ccT)1i 5ccex)liel ne sccllccibli. 

CCix baig joeDel ^eib "do fciccc 
Co pn oenpeix ^roftgef cac, 

II a leic co|\ "Cemiia i rech iiiOi\iain, 
1r[f]elba bai bmi-o co b^xou. 

0]aacaiii "Dtiiu ITIaelfeclainx), 

Se\xc fn^^ vmz in incttaiix van mac, 

*Déna -DebaiT) iimpi a CCex), 

Com •DÚtai§ "Doib Temaiix Oixec mbalc. 
Ilarafbe'j'iau eacrjiainx) iiaib, 

CiTi 'DecmaiTis, 'Déíica|\ bcqx f^t, 

TTliini |itica|x \ie baft f>.e, 

l<li -pAiccaT) f\^^ yie na cyiic. 
Coi^naiD "Cemaiix, rixeti baix -peiT)m, 

CC pet» \^leff. peDiKtib] lleill neyw bajx ntDiiixin-D, 

11a ^xaecam a ley ba|i ngaiiiim, 

III vey lib anim eacrixariT» mianT). 
(X]XT> gac oenru, blatglan blait, 

Cain cac cliat bixcrca^x mat) buait), 

Sona lie cumafc cac cuic, 

■pojxrall cac tulc ila-ji fluaij. 
1fi cam^ean if co-jxti t)Uib, 

Cen gub T)ain5ean, duI co Oiiian, 

11a legiT) in mallma^ t)0 neoc, 

TTlilif a t)eoc if a biat). 
Oeiixfiii ruafceixc G|ient) leu, 

OCet) ixif a neii^ent» cac locr, 

Oef,et) tio cell in let reaf, 

11a légÍT) bail leaf t)0 lor. 
Oe^xeT) Gocu tit)i cian, 

Ulcu uli, a-p,T) in t)am. 

Oeixit) Catal cecac coi|x, 

Cucet) fcft nOilnegmacc nan. 
&]\^ti V-^V ^^ flua^aib fuaf, 

"Cixénaig If C'fitiat)ai5 a feif, 

TTla -Da necaif ftacait) các, 

Occc fe|xt»i CO b^xcit; va heif. 

1 Thy brother : i.e., near relative. 
Maelseclilainn was his nephew, his 
sister's son. 

"They: i.e., Itlaelsechlainn and his 

3/<; viz., Temhair or Tara. '■^ Ex- 
ierns :" Le., not of the house of O'Neill. 

* Between you : i.e., between thee 
(Aedh) and Maelsechlainn. 

•■> Dkgrace. Lit. " Disgrace of ex- 



For the sake of the Gaedhil take thy shield 

Agamst that one man who injures all ; 

Let not the hiU of Temhair come into Brian's house — 

"With those who now possess it let it be for ever. 
Maelsechlainn is thy brother^ ; 

Thy beloved sister is the mother whose son he is ; 

Make battle for her, O Aedh ! 

They2 have equal right to strong Temhair, of Breagli. 
Let not externs carry it^ away from you ; 

However difficult, let peace be made between you'' ; 

If not carried away in your time 

It shall not be carried away until the time of the end. 
Defend Temhair, mighty be your exertion ! 

Ye clanns of Niall, by the strength of your hands — 

Let us not requh-e to call you ; 

It is not honourable to you that externs should disgrace^ us. 
Noble is every union — glorious, renowned ; 

Beautiful every brother-battle if it be a victory ! 

Prosperous by combining is each part ; 

Powerful against all evil is a numerous army. 
The policy that is most proper for you. 

Although not strong, is to go against Brian ; 

Surrender not the soft plain'' to any man — 

Sweet are its drink and its meat. 
Bring thou the north of Erinn with thee, 

O Aedh, who art followed by all parties ; 

Let thy coim-ade'^ bring with him the southern half; 

Suffer not your interests to be destroyed. 
Let Eochaidh bring — long the march — 

All the Ulaid — a noble company ; 

Let Cathal, the warlike, the just, bring 

The province of the illustrious men of Olnegmacht. 
Rise up thou before the armies, 

Strengthen and harden their ranks ; 

If thou wilt go, all others Avill go, 

Thou shalt be the better of it ever after. 

terns [i.e., of Brian and his party] upon 
us is not honourable [/i<., handsome, 
pleasant] to you." 

6 Soft plain. Meaning Breagh or 

Bregia, the rich plain in ■which Tem- 
hair or Tara stood. 

■^ Comrade : viz., Maelsechlainn. 
The last word of this line was origin^- 


co^ccDii 6CceT)1iel Re ^ccllccibli. 

CC 1Í11C "Oomnaill ua lleill naif, 

CC-jx n "Ceiniaa 'dviit: oraif, 
Ooo 1X1 ©ixetTD ace co ixif. 

RoinaiTTD CO Oixicm Ofto^a Cui^xc, 
CCix ■peixariD Lo^a vo lor, 
C-JX15 ixoniaiTTD, eix^tun lear, 
iJa ben: bit) cmnn Oixetix) oixc. 

CC CCet) 11110 "Domnaill o iJeill, 
•Suit) cqx ro|xblainT) 'Ceinixa pail, 
Oeixijx zi]x ÍC^xc OeiiTpijX o 0|xian, 
OiT) gmll ^ac oenpijx ic lann. 

Oac Ian ixi CixeiiD a-jx recr, 
ila cleact; T)0 lebenx) -do Luixc, 
llai^x 11 ac rataijx ra^xlais o|xr, 
11a leic cnoc Caiixiiiaic t»o Cuixc. 

Coixaic in fluagex) a^x flicc 

lTlujxceixcai5 na yxuaD^al ^a-jxr, 
CC lefrjxaib glaine ixoc necc, 
TTlini faige faijfeaiix ofxu. 

ila pjxitoil pein pi|x iiii ceftu, 
Oein in )x^^g acu 1x15 na jxicr, 
O1T) cac pfiitolef -DO bein. 
If uaiflni clann lleill cac niixr. 

X)a cifraif "do cUifa 1 cein, 

ITIaix va ciia'occf a im lleill nái|x, 
ílibaT) T)ebaT) lee in nuall, 
"Dam in fltiag iin "Cemaiix "pail. 

O f-e Co|xmaic o cuinT) Coi|x, 
If "Doib caftlaic in roix uiaft, 
CCcc cic cac a an am em, 
"Ml "Dallax» ixac Weill a|x lliall. 

ally written tjeaf in the MS., and is 
corrected apparently by the original 
scribe to ceaf . 

^Nolle. ThcMS. hasncdf (of Naas?) 
which ought perhaps to be iiui|\, noble. 
O'Niall is so called in this page (line 
26), and Circuit of Ireland, line 1. But 
the rhj'me is in favour of ncdf . 

2 Brurjh. This word signifies a fort, 
or chieftain's residence. By " Core's 

Brugh" is here meant Cashel ; so called 
from Core, son of Lugaidh, who was 
king of Cashel in the time of St. Pa- 
trick, and was the first to make Cashel 
the royal residence. 

^ Of every man. In the Irish Oenfir. 
There is a play upon words here that 
cannot be represented in the translation. 
The word oenfer, gen. oenfr, signifies 
literally owe OTffH, iinicus, individunl. Art, 



O son of Domhnall, grandson of Niall, the noble,' 

The bright sheen of the sun illumines tliee, 

Since thou art intent upon Temhair for thyself 

Thou shalt be king of Erinn if thou vn\t but come. 
Lead us against Brian of Core's Brugh,^ 

On Lugaidh's land be thy ravaging ; 

Go thou before us — slaughter attend thee — 

Let not the disgrace of Erinn be upon thee. 
Aedh, son of Domhnall, grandson of NiaU, 

Sit thou on the glorious tower of Temhair- Fail, 

Wrest the land of Art Oenfer from Brian, 

Let tlie hostage of every man^ be in thy hands. 
Thou shalt be full king of Erinn by coming 

Let not thy platform [i.e. Tara] become accustomed to Lure,'* 

Since no reproach attaches to thee, 

Yield not Cormac's^ Hill to Corc.^ 
Direct the army in the track 

Of Muirchertach of the red prowess ; 

In vessels of glass he has washed thee''^ ; 

Unless thou advance, thou shalt be advanced upon. 
Serve not thou thyself a man of right ; 

Strike the king, except the supreme king ; 

Let all be in vassalage vmder thy stroke ; 

Nobler are the race of Niall than any might. 
If thy renown shall spread afar. 

As I have said, O descendant of Niall the brave! 

The shout will not be a contest against thee 

Which is raised by the hosts around Temhair- Fail. 
From the time of Cormac, grandson of just Conn, 

To his race belongs this western hill ; 

But each man gave his ready life ; 

Niall's fort was not taken from Niall. 

king of Ireland, A.D. 220, son of Conn of 
the hundred battles, vras sumamedOen- 
fer, because he was the only surviving 
son of his father. The meaning, there- 
fore, is, " Wrest from Brian the lands of 
king Art Oenfer, [i.e., the kingdom of 
Ireland] and let the hostage of every 
oenfer [i.e., of everj' individual] be in 
thy hand." beixi^i in the preceding 
liae is probably a mistake for belli T). 

* Lure, or Lore : i.e., to Leinster ; so 
called from Loeghaire Lore of the LLffey, 
king of Ireland, A.M. 3649. 

5 Cormac' s. Over the word Ccti-p.- 
maic in the MS. a coeval hand has 
written " vel Cormaic," the more usual 

^Coi-c: i.e., to Munster. See note", 
p. 12-t. 

"• Washed thee. This seems a pro- 

126 cosctdTi ^a:eT)1iel Re ^ccllccibli. 

Cac 111 110 jctb 6p.inT) iiaib, 

Octft cticm coelbiTTO claitim IJeill, 

111 ciacc za]x be'p.naiT) neic T)tiib, 

CCf cac z^\i 1 'Ceiiifiaic rixein. 
Ha leicfiu o]xz na hob cat, 

Hit: ■peoil z\\o^v Da coif no -oeoc, 

CC hui r^ii Ccctal na cat, 

11a leic cec rataft do neoc. 
ill tiengnam bee 51 bee inojx, 

1f a]x DCjblaD reir do Oiiian, 

Ci bee iTienman Iitid a ixccd. 

If -najx fp-en^ fen 'Cemiaac fiaix. 
■Sanraig fiu Ltinineac na long 

CCyiDaig feo conaD cunmeac anD, 

^efCD ^iirfu Lipi Luijic, 

'Cucfu Cafel Ctiif,e Da cinD. 
Ifuif [vel ifac] mac Dingbala do, 

Til a Dingbala lez xtezla, 

TTlaD rii baf do De nac Dait, 

O1D lee uli in mait ica. 

CC "Ollb. 

The refusal LXXIY. CCfbefx, imorino, CCeT) tia MeiU in ran bai 

of Aedh _ L \ ^ 

O'Neill. T^emaifi accofom .1. ic Cenel Oogam, |ia cofctmfer a 

faiiai, ociif inn ica mia'o X)a cofnaT) a fai^ai, ocuf 

afbeyir nac nbiieT) a anmain 1 cenv cara po lamaib 

"Dalcaif T)o cofnann iii^i do neoc ele. If aiffin ^lo 

raijiif leo. 

Maeisech- "Oa jioct: in yie\i "Dana co TYlaibfeclainT), ocuf orper 

AedSIi*'*^ na fcela fin -do. 1ffi coniajili -oa po^ni ITlaelfec- 

person, and i^ctiii-o^ -00 luiT) fen CO reac CCeT)a tla 'Neill, ocuf bai 

offers to 

resign his . . 


verbial expression, equivalent to our 
proverb of " dwelling in glass houses." 
But over the word necc, " washing," 
in a coeval hand, are written the 
letters yic in the MS., probably to 
irttWcate another reading, ne)XC, 
"strength," — "in vessels of glass is 
thy strength." But qu. ? 

1 Over a gap: i.e., not one of you 

obtained the sovereignty by any bye- 
way or treacherj'. 

^ Lore. See above, note *, p. 125. 

3 When they. Lit., ' ' When Tenihair 
belonged to them, viz., to the Cinel 
Eoghan ;" i.e., the family of Eoghan, 
the branch of the O'Neill of which 
Aedh was the chieftain. B. reads, 
an can yio bai "Ceniaiifi oc Cenel 



Of all the kings of you that ruled Erinn, 

Of the sweet musical race of the sons of Niall, 

No one of you came over a gap' 

From any quarter to strong Temhair. 
Let him not come upon you — refuse not battle — 

You are not dead flesh, in foot or horse ; 

O descendant of the thi'ee Cathals of the battle, 

Leave not the house of thy fathers to any man ! 
Tis no small valour, although the small is great ; 

Tis with high renown thou goest against Brian, 

Although it is small courage in us to say so, 

Tis a shame to have old Temhair dragged to the West. 
Covet thou Luimnecli of ships 

For tliis purpose — that thou mayest be remembered there, 

For thee will shout the Liphe of Lorc,^ 

Pull thou down Caisel of Core. 
Thou art a person worthy of it ; 

If thou preserve thy worthiness in thy day — 

If thou be active now to the last, 

To thee shall belong all the good that remains. 

Thou art. 

LXXIV. Aedli O'Neill, however, answered- -"When tliey,^ The refusal 
namely, the Cenel Eoghain, had Temhair, they defended o'Ne^iii 
its freedom ; and whoever possesses it, let him defend its 
freedom ;" and he said " that he would not risk his life in 
battle against the Dal Cais, in defence of sovereignty for 
any other man." This was the final answ^er.* 

The man of poetry retm-ned to Maelsechlainn^ and re- Maelsech- 
lated to him those tidings. The counsel that Maelsech- ^g^^ ^^^^ ^ 
lainn acted on was this : he went himself to the house of person, and 
Aedh O'Neill, and he spoke to him and offered him host- resign Ms 

an CI 050 inbiax) é péin va copictiii 
cona -raiiap : " When Temhair belong- 
ed to the Cinel Eoghan its freedom 
■was defended, and whoever possesses it 
let it be his business to defend its 

^ Answer. Lit., " Thus he con- 
cluded with them," i.e., the negotiation 
was concluded between Aedh and the 
ambassador of Maelsechlainn. 

^ To Maelsechlainn. B. reads, nOL 
innipn -jrin co maet-pecTitainn, 
"to tell this to Maelsechlainn." 


cobccoli ^cce'oliel vie ^cdlccibli. 

icca a^allaiiTi, ocuf ra^ipT) biiajn t)o, ocuf i^o'o 
pfiif, Cofctin Temiicdj; T)Wc pein cc)i ye, ocuf -do beppa 
gmlln viuv, Tiai^ if "pefii leni he\v accax^po na beir: ic 
Oiiian. X)ai5 in pil a acmccni^ a^ctniT) ccm react: i reac 
mOfiaiii nun ripni leam i cenD cam, ocup mari Leri 
CmnT) a^icena. 
Aedhas- Ho ^inolit:, T»na, Ceneal Gogain lapfin co hC£ev "Ua 
sembiesthe |jeill, ociif |io innif 7)oib in fccl fin .1. TTlaelfeclainT) 
Eoghain. 1 ottif^fi ^Kill "DO ttji vul 1 ccnT) cara beif in no^iT» 
bfian ociif "Oailcaif. Ro fai'Ofer Cenel eogam ni bi 
ant» fin [act;] elazu, "oaig fo iT:if, TilaelfeclainT) nac 
^eba-D CCet» a ^lallu, T>m^ ba fini ociif ba luiafliii 
TilaelfeclainT) ma CCei), ociif bax) cum a leif i crcfom 
T)0 roci: 1 cenT) ca€a teif, ociif co mafbaT» vo 'oenani 
-DOib, octif T)ailcaif. 

CCfbcfT: CCext ffui t:oct: i comafli, ociif i cociif, ociif 
ffecfa maii; vo rabaift; af TnaelfeclainT) innaf na 
ba-D 'DOfxiiT) flareinnaif "Doib a iiifiif ciicu. 
The answer "t^ci ciiaraf |nin 1 ca^iif, ociif fo bocaf 1CCC inif aT) 

of the Clan. . < u ^ 

ca focfa bax) coniair; -ooibfeon ffi a nanmain in niiai]! 
va f ac?:aif i cenr» ca^a ffi "Dalcaif. T)ai5 ve eraraf 
nac reicficif "Oalcai]^ fompofom, octif nac T:eicfir;if 
feom ffi "Dalcaif ; ociif va eraraf na bi acmaing a 

Aedh ad- 
vises deli 

1 Hostages. B. has caiT-ccaiT) 'DO 
Tjemhailfi, " he offered him Temhair ;" 
i.e., he offered to resign to him the 
sovereignty of Ireland. 

~ Temhair. Cof ain -DUir; -pem i, 
B., " Defend it for thyself." 

3 Said he. Omit., B. 

4 Than. Ina, B. 

5 Power. CCcpaincc, B. 

6 Falling into. Lit., " going into 
Brian's house ;" i.e., becoming one of 
his vassals. 

"^ Come not. \T\ una cciof ai^^f i, B. 
At the head of the battle: i.e., as com- 

8 Assembled. B. omits "Diia, and 

9 Offered. CCcc raiixgf in, B, 

'^'^ Could be. tiap, bo coiifi fm, 
oip, fio pi-DiYi niaelfecblainn, B. : 
" That this was not right, for Mael- 
sechlainn knew, &c." 

11 Older: i.e., in pedigree ; of an elder 
branch of the family. B. reads, nac 
f;ebaT) CCof) a biiaij^oe, oiix ba fine. 

i~ Of themselves. 'Oóib pém octif 
■DO, B. 

^^ Advised. CC'Dtibaip.r; CCori jxiú 
cocc hi ccoccaii, ocuf In ccoiiiai^ate, 
T)0 cabaiixc 'Deii;pi^ecci\a, B. 

1* Secret council. Cagu'ji, the same 
word spelt cogiiii, three lines before. 
B. reads hi ccoccuix, another variation 
of orthography. 


ages' ; and said to him — " Defend Temhaii'^ for thyself," 
said he,^ " and I will give thee hostages ; for I would 
rather be dependent on thee than^ on Brian. For we 
have not power"" to prevent om* falling into*" Brian's hands 
if thou come not^ ^vith me at the head of the battle, and 
the nobles of Leth Cuinn also." 

The Cenel Eoghain were then assemV)led* to the pre- Aedh as- 
sence of Aedh O'Neill, and he related to them the fact that ^^™Vj^* ^^® 
Maelsechlainn had offered^ hostages to him provided he Eoghain. 
would go with him at the head of the battle ao-ainst Brian 
and the Dal Cais. The Cenel Eoghain said that that could 
be'° nothing but evasion, forMaelseclilainn knew that Aedh 
would not accept of hostages from him, because Maelsech- 
lainn was oldei'^' and nobler than Aedh ; and he cares not, 
provided they go with him to the head of the battle, to 
the mutual slaughter of themselves'- and the Dal Cais. 

Aedh advised'^ them to retire into secret coimcil and Aedh ad- 
conference, and to give a favourable answer to Maelsech- ^^ation *' 
lainn, so that his journey to them should not be a rejection 
of the sovereignty on their part. 

They retii'ed to secret council,''* and they asked them- The answer 
selves what benefit would accrue to them compared with °^ ^^® ^^^^' 
their lives,'* should they take the lead in battle against 
the Dal Cais. For they knew"* that the Dal Cais would 
not retreat before them ; and that they would not retreat 
before the Dal Cais ; and they knew that it would be 

^^ Their lives. T)oi15 pixi a nan- Tionian, B. : " For they kneiv that the 
mannailj, B. Dal Cais would not retreat before them, 

16 TTiei/ kneiu. "Daig fio peccac- I and they knew that it would not be 
cai\]X)m nac ceicpcciy'Dal cCoTp 1 possible to separate them, and that 

■p.otnpa^'-an, ocui"- -00 peccaccaifi, 
Tiac biat» aq:ain5 a ne-D-jaana ace 
coTnma''D a céiLe -do 'óénaTti; 
ocay 'DO "[xm-iy^oz, nayi bo puyxaiL 
teó ■pocayi Tno^i x>a ccioinn cai\ a 
nei]^, óifi ní biax) a -púil le ■poca-p, 
na te yx)niaine 50 max) T)ia 
ccuiyite an cccc ; ocuy^ a ■DubiioraYi 
an cine-Dh na-jx ceic 1^1a Loclann- 
coib, .1. an ane-o ay qfioDO i^an ' &c." 


they would mutually slaughter each 
other ; and they said that they sought 
no great benefits for their children 
after them, for they could have no 
hope of benefit or of wealth for them- 
selves for ever, if the battle was fought ; 
and they said that the tribe that re- 
treated not before the Lochlanns, who 
were the bravest tribe in the world. 


co^ccoli ?;cce'o1iel ne ^ccllccibli. 

They de- 
mand from 
lainn half 
of his terri- 

lainn de- 
parts in 

He submits 
to Brian 
and offers 
him hos- 

iieojaana va com^mjTA'p oen ccrc ai-c c(ic t)0 commajibcco 
a cele T)ib. Ro iicti'Dfet; nap, biijiail leo fociuc 'dcí claniT) 
'Daneif. "Oaig ne [leg. ní] he a innl pern no bictT) |ie 
-pocpci -Da cuijxcea in ca€. T)ai5 po eoaraji, m lucr ncqi 
ceic |ie Loclonnacaib no yie "Oanmap^acaib .1. fiepin 
ciniu-D i|' c]'iOT)u ^Y [in] -ooman nac ceicpirif pompufom. 
If fi, imoppo, coniaiali xta jionai) leo .1. lei: pep íí1it)i 
ocuf -pepanT) 'Cempctc -ooib, amcnl po bcro conTDiirctig 
"DOib, octip DO bepT:aip cab nialle ppip- 

LXXV. K,o hinnipe-D no TTlaelpeclainT) in peel pin, 
octip p,o gab pep5 mop é, ocnp po inrDi j; po T)ini'Dai5, ocup 
luiT) lappin CO clainT) Colniain, ocnp innipiD -Doib in peel 
pin, ocup ipi comapli Tia pom i:ecT: 1 r;eac nnOpiain. T)a 
luiT) lappin T)a picer; "Dec niapcac co copact: co pnpull 
mOpiain, can cop, can comapci, aci: eneac Opiain pein 
ocup "Dalcaip, ocup innipiT» na pcela pipi tdo, ocu]^ po 
pail) va bagbaT) acnnaing comaT) cau vo bepat), ocup o 
nac puaip apbepi: comaT) vo 'oenuni a piapponi t:anic 
ocup CO ribpeT» bpagn t)o. 

Uo pegaip Opian 1^111, ocup po paiD ; Daig ip amlai-D 
canacaipiu cucainT), api^e, can cop, can comapci, can 
coma, pcc^aiT) cap'oi mblia'ona Tiuirpiu, can pall can 
eT:ipi DiappaiT» opi:; ocup pa'omairni -Dinpaisi in lucca 

^ Banmarkians. Omit., B. Rehan- 
niayij;acaiU, D., for yie "Donmaiija- 
caib, according to the iisual orthogra- 
phy of this MS., omitting the eclipsed 
or quiescent letter, and so in the line 
preceding ecacaifi for pecctcayi. 

" Therefore. Ocup api coiiiaijile, B. 

3 The men. B. reads, Ledi iniiT)e 
ocup-peaifiainn 110X361111^06 a cconi- 
'DÚccap -Doib, ocup "DO beyi-oaip ccté 
Til inaill/e pyiiii : " That half of Midhe 
[i.e., Meath], and of the territory of 
Temhair be their own inheritance, and 
that then they would fight the battle 
along with them." 

■' Was told. T)o liinnipe'D, B. 

5 Great wrath. B. reads, ocup T)0 
jalj peyis mop, niaeleclamn, ocup 

'DO imci5 po "DiiTiiaTi, ocup no nncig 
ap pill CO cloinn Colmain: "And 
great wrath seized Maelsechlainn, and 
he departed in displeasure, and he re- 
turned then to the Clan Colmáin, &c." 

^ To submit. Lit., "to go into Brian's 
house ;" i.e., become vassal or tribu- 
tary to Brian; see note 6, p.l28. Ocup 
api coitiaiiiii 'DO yiona'D teó, .1. 
Tnaetechlainn, -do 'doI 1 cech bjxi- 
cnn, B. : "And this was the advice 
they gave him, viz., Maelsechlainn, to 
go into Brian's house." 

" Brian's tent. *Do luit) mixpin 
tn aetpeclamn -00 picec "oecc majx- 
cach 50 ixiacc pupal biiiaiii ayx 
paicce 11a 'Ceiiiiaac, B. : "Then 
Maelsechlainn went forth with twelve 


impossible to separate them, should they once join in 
battle, and that each would kill the other. They said 
that they sought not benefits for their children after them, 
for they themselves could have no hope of any benefits if 
the battle was fought. For they knew that the people 
who retreated not before the Lochlanns, nor before the 
Danmarkians, ^ the bravest nation in the world, would not 
retreat before each other. The resolution, therefore,- that They de- 
was adopted by them was this : " that half the men^ of Maeisech- 
Midhe and of the teiTÍtor}^ of Temhaii- be ceded to them, lainn half_ 
as if it had been their inlieritance, and that then they tory. 
would fight the battle along with him." 

LXXV. This fact was told"* to Maelsechlainn, and great Maeisech- 
wrath'^ seized him, and he departed in displeasm'e ; and p^^^^ j^" 
he returned then to the Clann Colmain, and told them wrath, 
these tidings ; and the advice they gave him was to sub- 
mit^ to Brian. He, therefore, set out with twelve score He submits 
horsemen, until he aiTÍved at Brian's tent,^ without gua- ^° ^"^." 
rantee or protection, beyond the honour of Brian himself,^ him hos- 
and of the Dal Cais ; and he related to him^ these facts ; ^^»^^* 
and he said'" that had he been able he would have given 
him battle, and as he was not able, he said that he came 
to make his submission to him, and to give him hostages. 

Brian answered' ' that, and said: " Since '^ thou hast come Brian's 
unto us thus," said he, "without guarantee, without protec- ^^^^^^ 
tion, without treaty,'^ we give thee a truce'* for a year, 
without asking pledge or hostage from thee ; and we will 

score horsemen, vintil he arrived at said that he came to make his submis- 
Brian's tent, on the green of Tara." ; sion, and to give liim hostages." 

8 Himself. B. omits pein. 

9 Tohim. T)ot)i\iaTi, B., "to Brian." 

10 He said. B. reads, ocuy a "Dti- 
baiyic "Da mbeit a acpaing cticce 
huyiab cctc -do beyiaT), ocu]p ó nac 
•jfiaibe, a "oubaiixc gtiyiab "do "oé- 
narh a yvictificfpom cchnic, ocvif 50 
cciubiftcc'Dbiiaij'De T)ú : "And he said 

11 Ans-wered. B. reads, ocur fio 
■piT,eccaiiri bfiian : (irie5aii\ in D. be- 
ing the same word with the initial p 

12 Since. B. omits "0015 ; and for 
caiiacmpn, reads rati^fcoair. 

13 Treaty. CoriiaTO, B. 

^* Truce. 'Racíiai'DcaiTa'De bi/ia^o- 

that if he had been able he woidd have I na "Duic, 5011 gmltu gaii eroifie 
given battle, but as he was not able, he I -Diajiiaaic •potic, ocu'p fiacannne 


J 32 

co^sccoti i5CceT)1iel Re ^ccllccibli. 



fin iiTiiiaT)ifiu, CO pnnatn ca piie^^ia t>o be^crc poiiaiiTO, 
.1. CCgt) ociif QocaiT), ociif niaT) caé -do beiiar -Dum, a|i re, 
na T:aiffni na^i na^aiT) leo. CCfbeiit: Til aelf eclanTD 
nac p.ct^ctT) erefi, ociif afbei^T: nac i comqali bax) coi|i 
■jiobctil ]\e Oiiian, cict: bcco cof ti -do rocx -oa zwg "oaig ba 
'oe^ruyiuf "DO cena epfuin 'do veer: na rec. Ocuf ba 
incné la cac ub in coma^ib pin, iiai^i ni ^ abi aci: -DeyieT) 
loini:! accu ; ocuf if fi fin comafli "DaffonfaT:. 

'CuccaT: T)a pcez véc eac anT»fin vo TTlaelfeclain'D 
o (Djiian, ocuf ni fxcbi "oon -nana ficer "Dec bai afoen 
score steeds |xe 1T1 aelf eclainT) nee fif af bin eae t>o bfeié inaci 
sechiainn, beif, eo t;iie Tllaelf eelainx) nli urc -do ITIufcaT) mac 
who be- Oniain zuc a lam in a Unm in la fin. T)aix: if é fin 

stows them ' J . 

upon Miir- oen f ijDomna t)0 ef aib Of.enT) nac fab i cof acnf ac 
^^^\^ TD aelf eclainT) femi fin. Ho f caff at:, imoffo, laffin 

fo fii ocnf fo bennacrain, ociif rancaT:af T)a n^. 
Brian sails LXXVI. "Do fonax) mou coblac muf-nDi [lanrin, accinT) 

toAthlone: i h i rr-i i -' 

takes hos- blKCDiia, la Ofiaii CO nCCrUiain, ociif flnag af rif af 
P^'^^/'X V^'''^ Connact:, ^Uf ^abaraf bfai^De Connacra uile ffi 
and from haoinrf ecrniain, ocnf fo fifeT)h bfai^-oe ua-Da af 
laiiin*^'^^' "^^ctoleclainn, ocu]^ fo inT)laic lllaoileclainn'oe 
A.D. 1001. coinncce fin in aenló. 'Cucca'D bfai^-oe Connacra, ocnf 

ITIaoileclamn 50 hCCrlnain. 1mpaiT)if Ofian leo fin 

"Dia hj;h. 

"Oo f onaf) móf floi^ix) af if accint) blucona la bfian 

CO T)ún T)elcca, ocuf fo fife-oh bfai^-oe uat» af CCoDh 

ocuf af ©ocbai'D, no ccrc 'opoccfa foffa muna rug'oaif, 

meets the 
at Dun- 

"DionnpaigiT) in locca fin niiiiaiT)- 
ifi 50 ppionncnn, 7c., B. 

íAedh. CCo-D Ó lleill, B. 

^ Said he. Omit, B. ila raififi 
heó inayi ncti^haTD, B. 

8 Said. Ocuf crcbe^^^, B. 

* He said. CCcbeiic nayi bi cm 
comaiyxiye coi^i "oobail. he Oifiian 
•DO -Denarri, ocup ba coyia, 7c., B. 

^ Subniission. Lit., "from his fMael- 
sechlainn's] having gone into his 
[Brian's] house." See above, note 6, 
p. 128. "Do ateaccfom -DCt 615, B. 

6 Provisions. T)a toninb, B. 

''' Twelve score. "0011 na picec 
"oecc bai hi ppaYiyvaT) TTlaoiLec- 
lamn, cton -Dume iaf ayi ttiia'o 
each "DO bjieic leif ina aice, B. 

8 All. Omit., B. 

9 For he was. *Doi5 "do be ■pin en 
■)aiv;-Dainna "opeiiaib &ixinn nac 
■jxaibe a]\ coiaacap, B. To under- 
stand this transaction the reader should 
know that by accepting the twelve 
score horses, Maelsechlainn acknow- 


go to visit those people whom thou hast mentioned, that 
we may know what answer they will give unto us, viz., 
Aedh^ and Eochaidh, and if they will give us battle," said 
he^ "come not thou with them against us." Maelsech- 
lainn said^ that he would not go on any account ; and 
he said^ that Brian was not acting on a right advice, 
for it would he better for him to return to his home, be- 
cause his expedition was sufficiently successful in having 
received submission^ from himself And that advice was 
pleasing to all, because they were at the last of their 
provisions'" ; and this was the advice they adopted. 

Twelve score steeds were then given to Maelsechlainn Brian 
by Brian, and there was not one of the twelve score'' men P'*^®/^'^*^ 

"^ . . . twelve 

who accompanied Maelsechlainn who would deign to carry score steeds 
a led horse with him ; so that Maelsechlainn bestowed gechiahin 
them all^ upon Murchad, son of Brian, who had given his who be- 
hand into his hand on that day. For he was^ the only ^ "^j" ^ 
royal heir of the men of Erinn who was not in alliance Murchad, 
with Maelsechlainn before that time. They then'" parted 
in peace and with benedictions, and repaired to their 
respective homes.'' 

LXXYI. A great naval expedition was made [at the Brian sails 
end'^ of a year after this, by Brian to Ath Luain, and an to Athione: 

•^ ' ^ ' ^ takes hos- 

army by land thi'oughout Connacht, so that he received tages from 

the hostages of all Connacht in one week; and hostages ^m^jq^ * 

were sought by him from Maelsechlaimi, and Maelsechlainn Maeisech- 

conducted hostages to that place on the same day. The hos- X.^d.'iooi. 

tacfes of Connacht and of Maelsechlainn having been con- 

veyed to Athluain, Brian returned with them to his houvse. 

A great expedition was made again, at the end of a Brian 

year, by Brian to Dun Delga, and hostages were sought Qf^*^'],!^^ 

by him from Aedh, and from Eochaidh ; or that war at Dun- 


ledged Brian's sovereignty (see Book j ^'^ Then. Xio ycca\iyazzaxi ^a\if:r\ 

of Rights, p. 176). Maelsechlainns' 
followers refused to lead them and 
Maelsechlainn therefore bestowed them 
upon Murchad, Brian's son, in token 


11 Homes. T)ia ccijib, B. 

12 At the end. Here there is another 
defect in the MS. D., owing to the loss 

of alliance and friendship. of a leaf. 


co^ccdIt 5cceT)tiel ne ^ccllccibli. 

CO Txan^cicxqi^^i'De .1. CCot) ocuf Oochcd-D va accallaiiTi 
They make 50 "Dull "Oeccl^ct, 50 iTDejinfccr ]At ccnn, octif offai), ocuy 
cáifi-oe nibliaT)iia 'DOiBfuiin vo T)énaiTi accoTnai|xle an 
ccrc no an bp-ai^-oe T)0 beii-oaif hi ccint) blKCona, ocuf 
gan f^aipf) "DoiBfuini a^i maoilfeclamn no a^i Connac- 
raib p^nf an mblia'oain y\n, acx a mbeir; ma ccai^i'Dil]!. 
LXXVII. "t)o laonax) inoiifUiai^iT) T)peiiaib Oiienn inle 
Le Oitian ez\\i gall ociif ^aoiijel, do neoc bai ó fliab 
A.D. 1002. puaiT) crcuai-D, accionn blia'ona Kqifin 50 hlllT^u ; ^u\i 
^ab paUa lllax) mle ó -do péimi-o CCot) ccrcb T)Ó. Ocuf 
accionn "oa blKfoain uqifin t^o i^aT) CCox) 0011^^ Gocbaix) 
coc Ciiaibe Tiilcha, T)Ú ap. mai'ilja'D kit) ap.aon, octiy^ 
110 maiiBa-D maire lllaf) mle ann. 

"Do lion ax» mop-floip-o uqifm la Oinan, co ^laiBe 
aT)hai§ iT:'Caillrin, ocuf 50 ^laibe feac<sniain in CCjid- 
niacha co nice picbe uin^e T)Ó]'í a^i alx-oiii inCCi"iT)ma- 
chae, ocuf co ucncc jialla llla-D ociif "Dalnap-aiTie, 
ociif in ruaifcei^ir; lei-p aficena, cenmom Cenel Con u ill. 
LXXVIII. "Do jiome bfiian inoiifltiaipx) uqifin accinn 
blia-Dna ele rimcell Q]ienT), ^n^i §aG b^iai^'oe peji 
nGiienT) uile. Ifex» do cóidIi rjié láji Connacr, ocuf 
hi 11105 iiCCi If 111 CoifiifliaB, ociif hi z'C^x CCilella, 
ocnf hi ccfich Caifppe, octif zcqi Slicceach, ocuf láiii 
clé le mini'i, ocuf láíh vey le np, ocuf le Oeinn ^iil- 
ban, ra|iT)iiiB, octif rap "Dp-obaoip, ociif illlai^h nOine, 
ocuf za]\ CCi Senai^ a^ OapfiniaiT), ociip ir'Cip nCCeDa, 
ocuf za\i Oepnaf THóp, ocuf za\i pepfaiTi, octif ^zT-^\i 
Go§ain, ocuf inT)ail HioDa, ocuf in'Dail CCpaToe, ocuf 
inl1lT:aib ^tip ^abapraip -po Lu§nafaT)h 1 mOealac "Dúin. 
Ho léicc pipu epenn lapfin Dia ijci^iB fionipa. *Do 

a truce for 
a year, 



Aodh and 
at Craebh 
A.D. 1003, 

Brian con- 
quers the 
A.D. 1004, 

A.D. 1005 

1 3ien of Erinn, A coeval hand has 
■written over these words in the MS., 
no peyi n&p.enn. 

2 Lammas. The ^1;««. Ult. read, co 
Tfioacccrouyi lugnctyaTi co Oeciiach 
n'Dúm, " until at Lammas he reached 
Belach-diiin," or "Belach-mííin," as 
in Dr. O'Conor's edition. The Four 
Masters use the same word, co ccoyi- 

Taaccctccayi, or -DOfacra-Daii, "he 
reached." But the text is correct ; 
gctba'Tcaip, is a verb deponent, and sig- 
nifies he took up at, or took possession 
of theplace. We have an instance of this 
construction, ch. xxxi. p. 34, supra. 
'guyisabinac ayveiccin i nT)uiblinTi, 
" they took possession bj' force of Dub- 
lin ;" lit., " took up [a position] in 


should be jjroclaimed against them, if they gave them not. 
And they came, viz., Aedh and Eochaidh, to confer tvith 
Brian to Dun Dealga, and they made a peace and truce They make 
there ; and they were given a year's time to come to a ^ ^^^^_ °^ 
decision, whether it should be battle or hostages they 
would give at the end of the year ; and that they were not 
to attack Maelsecldainn, nor the Connacht men, dming 
that year, but continue as friends. 

LXXVII. A great expedition of all the men of Erinn,' Brian 
both Gall and Gaedhil, of all who were from Sliabh Fuaid uistei"* 
southward, was made by Brian at the end of a year after A.D. 1002. 
that against the XJlaidh, and he took the hostages of all 
Ulaidh since Aedli failed to give him battle. And in two Aodh and 
years after that Aedh and Eochaidli fought the battle of ]i[Wed 
Craebh Tulcha, in which they were both killed together ; »* Craebh 

. . & ' Tulcha, 

and all the nobles of Ulaidh were killed there. a.D. 1003. 

A great expedition was made after that by Brian ; and Brian con- 
he was a nig-ht in Tailltin ; and he went from that to Ard 5.^'^';^ ^^^ 

o ' jN orth, 

Macha, and he laid twenty omices of gold on the altar in A.D. 1004. 
Aixl Macha ; and he brought away with him the hostages 
of Ulaidh, and of Dal Araidhe, and of all the north like- 
wise, except the Cinel Conaill. 

LXXVIII. Brian made a great expedition afterwards at Brian's 
the end of another year all round Erinn, and took the roimd^ '°" 

hostao-es of all the men of Erinn. His route was through Ireland, 

. . A.D. 1005. 

the middle of Connacht, and into Magh-n-Ai, over the 
Coirr Shliabh, and into Tir Ailella ; and into the country 
of Cak'pre, and beyond Sligech, and keeping his left hand 
to the sea, and his right hand to the land and to Beinn 
Gulban, over Dubh and over Drobhaois, and into Magh-n- 
Eine, and over Ath Seanaigh at Easruaidh ; and into Tir 
Aedha, and over Beamas Mor, and over Fearsad, and into 
Tir Eog-hain, and into Dal Riada, and into Dal Araidhe, 
and into Ulaidh, until about Lammas^ he halted at Belach 
Duin. He then dismissed the men of Erinn to their homes 

Dublin." In the old Irish of the I the same sense, "he took up at" (a 
Book of Armagh yxojab occurs in | place). 


cosoroti ^cce"otiel ne sallccibli. 

■with pro'S'i- 
sions at 

Levies tri- 
bute upon 
the Saxons. 
Welsh, the 
men of 
Lennox of 
and Ar gyle 


Brian en- 
forces law 
and order. 

lor;rcq^ Lcdpn rcc^i Ojie^a biifi 'hey "Diet rci^il'), ocu'i'' ^oill 
t:cqi m{u\i 50 hCCrcbar, octif co poiiT: taiii^e, ocuf 
CO Ltiimneac, ociif Coriiiacra -poí^ V^^'^ lTliT)e i^icqi Dia 

If cnm bai Oficcn hi cCfaoiB 'Culca, ocuf lllait) aga 
Bicrca'b ami. "Ciiccfco: vó cmn 'oá .c 'oécc ma^r, "oa .c 
.X. iinic, ocuf T)a ceT) T)ecc molr:, ociif |io iiOT)laic Ofian 
-Da .c T»écc eac 'oóiBfion, ]\6 t:aoiB óiji, ociif aiiiccic, 
octif éDaig ; 'D015 111 T)eacaiT) bicrcac aen tiaile Tiiob ó 
bp-ian ^cm each, no ni T)iaiTiaT)h buiT>eac e -opa^bcnl. 

Ro ciiip, coBlac mmfi'De ia]ifin ap, nuiif. .1. 'goill 
CCcacbcrc, ociif piniii; Lctiii^e, ocUf tia cCeinnfelai§, 
ocuf 11a iiCarach Tniimaii, ocuf iipiTiop pe^a nefeiTO 
T)0 neoc fopcaf ioniíYia|ia T)iob ; ^uyi coBai^fiot: an ciof 
liio5T)a Shaxan ocuf biicT^an, ociif Leinnai|, ociif [Jeg. 1] 
CClban, ocuf CCif eii saoi-Del iiile, ocu)^ a mbfai5T)e ocuf 
aneiT»ife, nriailbe le moif. ciof. "Do foinn Op-ian an cif 
11 lie maf t»o vhf, .1. arf.ian "do f 15 CCracbar, ocuf arf.ian 
T)occaib Lai^en, ocuf 11a nCacac ITliinian, ocuf aqiian 
ele T)aef -oana, ocuf eala'ona, ocuf T)a ^ac 'oinne af 
mo fainicc a lef. 

LXXIX. CiT» -fa act: rainicc Ofum mofctiaifr fi§ 
t-iincell e-feni) anilaiT) fin, octif Tto poccfa-oh fircáin 
6f enn teif, eT:if cealla, ociif rnara, co nDefiutD fii; in 
e-finn iiile fe alin. Ho cacr, ocuf fo cuiCfi^ liici^ 
niofTO folla, ociif "Dibeifge, ociif coccax). Ro cfoch, 
ociif fo niafb, ocuf fo mtiT)haiT) meifleaca, ocuf bir- 
benaca, ociif po^laxta &iienn. Ro fcfiof, fO fcaoil, 

1 Purveyor. The Biafach or BiadhUtch, 
an officer whose duty it was to supply 
provisions to all chieftains and persons 
of rank, travelling with attendants 
through the countrj-. 

~ And Alba. The word in the ori- 
ginal being in the genitive case (nom. 
Alba., gen. Albaii), it is evident that 
for 7 CClban in the text, " the Lemh- 
naigh and Scotland," we should road 
•1. CCtban, " the Lemhnaigh [or men 

of Lennox] i.e., of Scotland." This 
removes the impropriety of distin- 
guishing Scotland from Lemiox and 
Argj-le. The Leaninaigh were de- 
scended from Maine Leamhna (so 
called from the river Leamhan), who 
was son of Core, king of Munster, fifth 
in descent from Oilioll Olum, and 
of the same race as Brian (O'Flaherty 
Offiiij. p. 384) ; the Airer-Gaedhil 
[" Fines Gadeliorum"]. or men of Ar- 


in all directions. The Laighin went over Bregha south- 
ward to their homes ; and the foreigners over the sea to 
Ath Cliath, and to Port Lairge, and to Luimnech ; and the 
Connacht-men through Midhe, westwards to their homes. 

Brian was then at Ci'aebh Tulcha, and the Ulaidh with Supplies 
him getting him provisions there. They supplied him ^™ii* pj-ovi- 
there with twelve hunch'ed beeves ; twelve hundred hogs, sions at 
and twelve hundi-ed wethers ; and Brian bestowed twelve Tulcha. 
hundred horses upon them, besides gold, and silver, and 
clothing. For no purveyor' of any of their towns de- 
parted from Brian without receiving a horse or some other 
gift that deserved his thanks. 

He sent forth after that a naval expedition upon the sea, Levies tri- 
viz., the Gaill of Ath Cliath, and of Port Laii-ge, and of the ^^fgaxons, 
Ui Ceinnselaigh, and of the Ui Eathach of Mumhain, and Welsh, the 
of almost all the men of Erinn, such of them as were fit to Lennox of 
go to sea ; and they levied royal tribute from the Saxons Scotland, 
and Britons, and the Lemhnaigh of Alba,^ and Airer-Gaed- ^"^ ^^ 
hil, and their pledges and hostages along with the chief 
tribute. Brian distributed all the tribute according to 
rights, viz., a third part of it to the king of Ath Cliath; and 
a thh'd to the warriors of Laighin and of the Ui Eathach 
of Mumhain ; and another third to the professors of scien- 
ces and arts, and to every one who was most in need of it. 

LXXIX. So Brian retm-ned from his great royal visi- Ireland 
tation around all Erinn made in this manner ; and the ^°^f ^^j,(j 
peace of Erinn was proclaimed by him, both of churches peace. 
and people ; so that peace throughout all Erinn was made 
in his time. He fined and imprisoned the perpetrators of Brian en- 
mmxlers, trespass, and robbery, and war. He hanged, an'd^order. 
and killed, and destroyed the robbers and thieves, and 
plunderers of Erinn. He extirpated, dispersed, banished, 

gyle, were also of Irish race, so that : " great royal visitation round Ireland," 
the object of this paragraph is to claim I without any reference to this foreign 

for Brian the supreme sovereignty of 
the Gaelic race. But it is most prob- 
ably an interpolation inserted by some 
zealous partizan. The next chapter 
continues the history from Brian's 

expedition ; nor is there a record of his 
having invaded England, Wales, and 
Scotland in any other historical au- 


co^ccdIi scceT)1iel Me ^ccllccibti. 

tion of the 

A lone 
bearing a 
ring of 

travels im- 
molested in 

]\o 'Deeded^, 1^0 I1115, ^"10 lomai]!, |^o le'Doi^'i, iio mill, ocuf 
jio nni'DhaiT) ^tillu ^aca ~)\\e, ocuf ^ccca cumee in 
Gfieiiii tiile 50 poi^ile^an. Ro mcqiB ani a 11105a, ocuf 
a iiuifiecccha, a t:t:]ieit;ill ocuf a Tx^iéin li'iili'b, ct largaile 
ocuf gaifcci-o. Ro TDaefi, octif |io tiio^fancns ct niaeiii, 
octif a iaeacT:aiiT.eT)a, ocuf a -pnairiaectchcc a naiiiaif, 
ociif ct macaeiiia maeii-Da nioiislaim, ocuf a niiigena 
inme macDacca ; coin'oh "do i^in ^lo ^aai'De'D an laix) .1. 
Ro bixaoniK(T) 7i\l. 
LXXX. 1al^ nionnaiibaT) nno^iiio ^all a liC^^imn uile, 
ociif a cctiia e^enn na po^cam, rainicc aenBen ó 
"Choiiai^ T:iiaifcei]io Ciienn, co Cliof>na 'Deii^cei]"tT: Oiienn, 
ocuf -pail ó^]l a|i eacluifc \ie ahaif, ocuy ni -ptiaip. a 
■plax), na a vai^ticcaf) -do "Denain ; conaT» ai|ie fin f can 
an -pile — 

"Choixaig CO Ci.ío'óna caif, 
If fail óif aice fe a haif, 
1 fé Ofiain raoib^il naf rim, 
*Oo rimcil aomben Of inn. 

Ro ctniiiDaige'D leif "ona cealla ca-oaif Gfenn, ocuf 
a neinie'oa. Ro ciiificr; faoire, ocii)' i'nait;if7:feaca "do 
ceaccafcc eccna, ociif eolaif, ocuf "do ceii'Dac lealjaf 
raf miiif , ociif caf mófpaiff^e ; uaif do loifcce'o 
ociif "DO bai-Dex» a fcf ep-f a, ocuf a luiljaif in gac cill, 
ocuf in ^ac neinnef) ma foBocraf la "DibefccacaiB ó 
T;ofac 50 T)eifeT». Ofian imoffo vo beife'Dfif)e luac 
fo^lama, octif Inac leabaji t)0 ^ac aon foleir va 
cceije'D annfin. "Do fona-o inioffo liiBfa loiiToa, 
and repairs ociif lefai^TB Icif. "Do fonaf) Icif ■ceinpull Cille 
makes ^^' X)álua, ocuf r^empull Innfi Cealqia, ocuf cloicreach 

bridges and 

roads. ~~~ ~~" 

Brian en- 

He builds 

1 Bestowed, cfc. The poem here 
quoted was probably so well known at 
the time that the scribe did not think 
it necessary to copy more than its first 
words; but the editor has not been 
able to find it elsewhere. 

2 Banishment It is clear that there 

was no such "peace" and prosperity 
under Brian, as is here described. The 
annals exhibit their usual records of 
war and murder, nor were the Danes 
and other northmen ever " banished" 
from Ireland, not even after the famous 
battle of Clontarf, which did no more 


caused to fly, stripped, maimed, ruined, and destroyed the 
foreigners in every district and in every tenitory through- 
out the breadth of all Erinn. He killed also their kings. Complete 
and their chieftains, theh- heroes, and brave soldiers, theu' f?^J"f ^: 

tion of the 

men of renown and valour. He enslaved and reduced to Danes, 
bondage their stewards and their collectors, and their 
swordsmen, their mercenaries, and their comely, large, 
cleanly youths; and their smooth youthful girls. And it 
was on that occasion the poem was recited, viz. : 
There was bestowed, etc.^ 
LXXX. After the banishment'^ of the foreigners out a lone 
of all Erinn, and after Erinn was reduced to a state of ^o°\^°' 

bearing a 

peace, a lone woman came from Torach, in the noiih of rin^ of 
Erinn, to Cliodhna, in the south of Erinn, caiTving a rinff ?° '^''i „ 

' ' ' ^ o o travels im- 

of gold on a horse-rod, and she was neither robbed nor molested in 
insulted ; whereupon the poet sang — 

From Torach to pleasant Cliodhna, 
And carrying with her a ring of gold, 
In the time^ of Brian, of the bright side, fearless, 
A lone woman made the circuit of Erinn. 

By him were erected also noble churches in Erinn and Brian en- 
their sanctuaries. He sent professors and masters to teach 1°^^^ 
wisdom and knowledge; and to buy books beyond the 
sea, and the gi-eat ocean ; because their writings and their 
books in every church and in every sanctuary where they 
were, were burned and thrown into water by the plunder- 
ers, from the beginning to the end^ ; and Brian, liimself, 
gave the price of learning and the price of books to 
every one separately who went on this service. Many He builds 
works, also, and repairs were made by him. Bv him were ^^*^ repairs 

"■ *^ cnuTcri6s« 

erected the church of Cell Dálua, and the chm-ch of Inis makes 

bridges and 
than check their progress to complete i caoibjii/ na]\ ciin. "bright-sided, 
ascendancy. j fearless," must be applied to Brian. 

3 Time. Keating, who quotes this * To the end: i.e., from the begin- 

stanza, reads, a bpLair Oixiain, "in ning to the end of the Danish sway in 
the reign of Brian."' TTccoilisil. being Ireland, the destruction of books was 
the gen. sing. masc. the epithets ( their universal practice. 


cObCC"Dli scce"Dliel vie socllccibti. 

ens fortified 
the coun- 

His pros- 
perity for 

by GiUa 

'Ciiama ^jieine], ocup lubjia niToa ele qicena. T)a 
lioiiair: lei^^ "Dpocair, ociif 'doccciii, ocu]^ fli?;ef)a. Ro 
"DanipiiT: le^y, TDiicf, 'oinn ocuv T)am5ni, ociii" infeT)a, 
ocuf iii^pmiir; aivie-Da net ITliiman. T)a ixonccD, -ona, 
cum-Dac Ca^^il net p.ij:, ociif Chid CCbiutr:, octif inif Loca 
Cent), ocuf inii^ Loca ^aii~i, ocuf TJi'm Gocaiii Tnai^i, 
T)úii CLictr, ocuf TJim Cpor, ociif iiny Loca Sai^lenx», 
ocuf inif 111 ^aill "Oinb, ocuf Rofac, ociif Cewo Coixccd, 
ocuf Oo|iuma, ocuf inspuijir; mnniaii ai^cena. Ro bai 
an apfen co pona, pramail, co ple-oac, puinDec, p|i- 
b]ierac, co conaic, caDiiixtc ; co n^enmna'oeacr, ociif co 
c^xabiiT), ociif coiT-i^ecr, ocnp co iiict^laib ic cleyicib, 
CO n^ctil ociip CO n^ccfCGT) con neneac, octip co nenpium 
1 laecaib, ociif co ro^i^ec, T-pen, railc, qiebapglan, -U. 
blia-Dna T)ec in ap-D pigi nGpenT» amail apbepi: ^illa 
■miiT)iiT)a: — 

PnicuT) v«ii5i, T\^h ri\icc, 

Oftian b-|ieo of Oanba blcrcbifiic, 
Can dabcnii, can biar, can bpac, 
dug bliat)na 'oec pa ' 

"Da bliaDain, inioppo, -oepbaiT) -on -oa pice- in ap-opi^i 
na inuiTictn. 

1 And many. Here we return to the 
text of D. B. omits ayicenct. 

- Causewai/s. 'Cocaifi, B. 

3 Strengthened. Ro cunroai^e'D 
leip "DÚnice, ocup -Damgne, ocup 
■)xi05puii\r, ocup i)inpef)a oiixeg'ou, 
B. : " By him were fortified duns and 
fastnesses, and royal forts, and cele- 
brated islands, &c." 

* Also. "Do pona-D leip, B., "By 
him was built." Ho cuiiToaijiox) teip 
pop, " By him were additionally for- 
tified," Keating. 

■' Cenn-Abrat. CeiTDpebi^arc, B., 
and Keating. 

^ Dun Cliatk. Ocup X)ún Clicic, 
B., Keating. 

''Ms an Ghaill Duibh. Imp (tn 
?5aill "Duitj, ocup imp Loca i^atg- 
litTD, ocup Hopac na tMOS, B. ; " Inis 

an Ghaill duibh [island of the black 
foreigner, or Dane,] and the island of 
Loch Saiglenn, and Kosach of the 
kings." The names of these places 
are thus given by Keating : — " Ceann- 
fabhrad, Inis Locha Cé, Inis Locha 
Gair, Dim EochairMhaighe, Dim lasg, 
Dún-trí-liag, Dún-gCrot, Dim Cliach, 
Innsi [the islands] an Ghaill-duibh, Inis 
Locha Saighlionn,Ros na Riogh,Ceann- 
Coradh, the BóraimheCan bóiriairiie.)" 

8 In like manner. IFlispuiixc ITIu- 
tiiaii uile a|xceana, B. 

s Peaceful. Ro bai amlai-D pin 
CO pio'oaniait, pona, pteaT)ac, pui^x- 
eccac, piyibixectf ac, ocupco conaigh, 
caT)upac ; co nseanmnai^ecc, ocup 
CO ccyiabaT) iccleiyvcib |ié a Iiitd, 
ocup CO neinec, yc, B. 

^'>Firm. B. omits cp.eii. 


Cealtra, and the bell tower of Tuam Greine], and many' 
other works in like manner. By him were made bridges 
and causeways,^ and high roads. By him were strength- strength- 
ened,^ also, the duns, and fastnesses, and islands, and *""* ^°'^^'^^'^ 


celebrated royal forts of Mumhain. He built, also,* the tiiroughout 
fortification of Caisel of the kings, and of Cenn Abrat/' the ]^^ *^°^"" 

. try. 

island of Loch Cend, and the island of Loch Gair, and 
Dun Eochair Maige, Dun Cliath,^ and Dun Grot, and the 
island of Loch Saiglend, and Inis an Ghaill Duibh,^ and 
Rosach, and Cend Coradh, and Borumha, and the royal 
forts of Munster in hke manner.^ He continued in this His pros- 
way prosperously, peaceful,^ giving banquets, hospitable, fifteen *°^ 
just-judging; wealthily, venerated; chastely, and with years, 
devotion, and with law and with rules among the clergy ; 
with prowess and with valour; with honour and with 
renown among the laity; and fruitful, powerful, fii'm,^" 
secure; for fifteen'' years in the chief sovereignty of 
Erinn''^; as Gilla Mududa''^ said — bvGnia^ 

A boiling sea, a rapid flood — Moduda. 

Brian the flame''* overBanbha of the variegated flowers; 

Without gloom,'^ without guile, without treachery, 

Fifteen'^ years in full prosperity. 

For two score years, w^anting two, was he chief king of 

11 Fifteen. T)a blianoiii "op:;., B. 1 i* Torch, or flame. D. reads beo, 

.K'eaiJB^. " twelve years." : " living," but bifieo, the reading of B., 

\'i Erinn. tla 1i&^xenii, B. | of the Leahhar Gabhala, and Book of 

13 GUla Mududa. B. haspi^e, "the | Lecan, has been adopted, as giving a 

poet," witliout naming him, nor does better sense. Keating has bp-eccg, 

Keating give the poet's name, although "Brian of Breagh," or Bregia. 

he quotes the same stanza, which oc- j '5 j\^itkout gloom. B., Keating, and 

curs in the poem attributed to GioUa 
Moduda O'Cassidy, abbot of Ardbrec- 
can, and preserved in the Book of Lecan, 
fol. 312 a, and in the Leahhar Gahhala 
of the O'Clery's (MS.), in the Library 
of the Royal Irish Academy, p. 233, 
stanza 51. This poem begins thus : — 
C'lT.e 05I1 iniy^naiiaoiii, and contains 
a list of the kings of Ireland from the 
introduction of Christianity to the year 
1022. O'Flaherty's Ogyg. Prolog, p. 2. 

the L^eabhar Gahhala, give this line 
thus: — 'gan cmmaiii j;an bet) 5011 
b|\ar. The Book of Lecan reads, 'gctii 
ciabai^xjan bee ^an byicrch. 

16 Fifteen. B., with Keating, Leabhar 
Gahhala, dLXiaBook of Lecan, reads, -oa 
(i.e., "twelve years"), and a "his" for -pa. 

I'i' Mumhain. B. reads, xia. blia'óain 
cectpja -DO 'Dct picec fio bai lyiiiije 
Tlluman. " Four score years, wanting 
two, was he king of Munster." 


cObCCDli ^cceTdiel ue ^ccllccibli. 

dha, kinr; 
of Leinster, 
brings a 
tribute of 
pine trees 
to Brian. 

He arrives 
at Kincora. 

excites him 
to throw 
off Brian's 

His quarrel 

Brian's son. 

LXXXI. "Oa liiiT>, imoiapo, laiifni lTlccelmoiiT»a mac 
TDiqica'Da ^ii La^en v iu'dIiicii'd qii i^eolc]iaiiT) guifai^ 
-DibbaiT) peTDct ^aillbi do biiian co CeriT) Coiia-D .1. yeol- 
cl^anT) o llib "Pali:;!, ocii]^ feolciictiTD o llib "Paelan, ocuf 
feolciictiTD o llib mmp-e-Dai^ [ocuy o Laipv ocui^ o 11a 
c)"ii Comiiaib.] Co cayila iTnayibai^ erojiiio ac roci: 111 
luc^cciT) flebi inboccaic, co iiDecaiT) in \it pein, .1. ITlael- 
nioyiDCf, po veolcjiaiiT) 11a paelan, ocuf mnairi y\\ó^l ouc 
0]uaii iiemi do ocuf co|iT:aiii [óiii] ma t;ii'ncell, ocuf 
cnaip ai^^aiT: aiiD, bai in r;iiia|i iimi, ocii|^ niebaiD ciiap 
Da cnapaib pepin -peiDini. ÍC]x poraain DOib, 1n1opl^o, co 
CeiiD CopaD, rail 111 pi a map dg ocnp pticaD docuiti a 
perap g do cup. cnaip ap^ai- inD .1. do cum ^opmlairi 
mgim lllupcaDa mna Op-iam, ocup pobi piDC maraip 
"DoncaDa mic bpunn. Ro gab m pigan nrcinap, ocup 
cue upcup ipm reniD dg, ocup po bai ica cuppacaD, ocup 
ica jpepaco a bparap, Dai 5 ba bole le mogpani, ocup 
Daippmi ocup Docpa do Dcnum do neoc, ocup m ni nap 
paema-ap a aSaip na penamip do pémaD do, ocup 
apbepi: co pippeaD a mac apa mac m ni cerna. 

LXXXII. 'CohpuiD ppirnoip puipll eroppo ocup 111 up- 

1 Afte)' this. Peccup "do two 
1Tlaol,moi\ifit)a, B., "Once upon a 
time Maolmordha, &c." 

2 Convey. "DiiToitican, B. 

^ Pine. Lit, "sail-trees of pine." 
"Cfii peol/Cp-ant) ngiupa ■Dpio-obctif) 
Pe-oa 'gailJte co biriian, B. 'gctillbi 
in the text is probably a mistake of 
transcription in the MS. D. for 'gaibti. 

4 Hi Faelain. In B. these names 
are in the singular, ó Paitge, ó 
Paolúin, ó TTluiyie-Daij; and the 
words "and from Laighis, and from 
the three Commainns," are omitted, 
being an e\ádent interpolation, for 
otherwise there would have been more 
than three masts. This clause has, 
therefore, been placed within brackets, 
although it occurs in the text of 

5 The king himself. B. reads, yiig 
Ictisean pein, " The king of Leinster 
himself," omitting, .1. ITlcieLmoii'Da. 
The dispute was evidently for prece- 
dency among the three tribes who had 
supplied the masts; and it broke out 
at a boggy place, where it became ne- 
cessary to proceed in single file, and 
the question arose who shoidd go first, 
the king himself decided the question 
by assisting to carry the mast of the 
Ui Faelain. 

6 Buttons. B. reads, ocuj^ inaifi 
pifioil cucc bifiian -do irieimlie pin, 
ocup coi\caii-i Ó11^ 111 a cimceall, 
ocup ciiapi'oe aiTfigii: «nn : " And he 
had on a silken tunic which Brian had 
given him before that, which had a 
border of gold aromid it, and silver 
buttons on it." This gift was the token 



LXXXI. After this,' Maelmordha, son of Murcliadb, 
king of Laighin, set out to convey- three masts of pine'* 
of the trees of Fidh Gaibhli to Brian to Cenn Coradh, viz., 
a mast fi-om the Ui Failghe, and a mast from the TJi 
Faelain,^ and a mast from the Ui Miiireadhaigh [and from 
Laighis, and from the three Commainns]. But a dispute 
took place between them when ascending a boggy moun- 
tain, whereupon tlie king himself," viz., Maelmordha, put 
his hand to the mast of the Ui Faelain, having a silken 
tunic which Brian had previoiisly gÍA'en him, which had a 
border [of gold] round it, and silver buttons*"; the tunic 
was^ on him, and one of its buttons broke^ with the exer- 
tion.^ Now, when they had arrived at^° Cenn Coradh, the 
king took off his tunic, and it was carried to his sister to 
put a silver button on it, viz., to Gormlaith,^' daughter of 
Mm'chadh, Brian's wife^^; and she was the mother of 
Donnchadh, son of Brian. The queen took the tunic and 
cast it into the fire^^; and she began to reproach'"* and 
incite her brother, because she thought it ill that he should 
yield service and vassalage, and sutler oppression from any 
one, or jdeld that which his father or grandfather never 
yielded ; and she said that his [Brian's] son woiúd require 
the same thing from his son.'^ 

LXXXI I. Some peevish words followed between him and 

dha, king 
of Leinster, 
brings a 
tribute of 
pine trees 
to Brian. 

He arrives 
at Kincora. 

excites him 
to throw 
off Brian's 

of his vassalage to Brian. See above, 
note 9, p. 132. 

'' Was. Octi-r 730 bi, B. 

8 Broke. "Do liiealJai'D, B. 

9 Exertion. Ifle tné-D an pe'óma, B. 

10 Arrived at. CC]x zzoxiaczam 
imoixino -DOib, B. 

11 Gormlaith. B. reads, raii^ an fii 
a ionai\ -oe "do ctiix an cnaipe ann 
cum '5oiamlaT)a : " The king put his 
tunic oif to have the button put on by 

12 Wife. .1. bean t)i"iiain, ocu^^-do 
bi Y^n mata1^^, 7c., B. 

13 Fire. Ocu-p "oo beixc uixcap, "oe 
I'pin ceme, B. : "She made a cast of 
it into the fire." 

1-1 Rejjroack. B. omits ic a cufi-pa- 


15 His son. This is better expressed 
in B., thus: — -Doij; ba hole he mog- 
■pame no xiaiiipe "oo cvxt -do neoc 
ele paiia, .1. an ni nai^ paoni a 
ataiix no a -penataifi iT.iani, ocup 
acbeyic pó-p co pifipeax) mac binam 
ayi a riiaepan ma 'oiaig, ocu-p 506 
T)Ulne'Dé1pa■l^o^í.e: ''For she thought 
it iU that ser\-ice or vassalage should be 
yielded by him to any one, a thing that 
his father or his grandfather never 
yielded ; and she said also that Brian's 
son would hereafter require it from his 
[Maelmordha's] son, and all other men 

His quarrel 

Brian's son. 


co^ccdIi scceT»liel ue ^ccllccibti. 

caT) qa mcrcin ryie ^iirimiiefain piDcellacoa .1. TntiiicaT) 

ocu]^ Conain^ bcct-qi ic ^m^xc picilli, bcti inaelmo|iT)a 

ac regofc a|i TTIuiicaT), octif iio nncoifc beiyir Diayibo 

cluci pop. íTlupcaT). Ho pep^aiceT) mtipca'D, ocup ap- 

bepc, 1p zu cue comapli t)0 ^ctllaib in t;an po niebaiT) 

Maeimor- poppu, PvO paiT) IllcceliTiop'Da T)0, bepai) comapli apip 

inange^'^ TDOib, ocup 111 niebax» poppo. CCpbepr; ITlupccti), Oit) inr; 

ibctp iiiaipT:i acctit; po'oein Tioib. Ho pepgai-oeT) TTlael- 

iiiopT)a, ocup Dct cuaiT) "oa rig lebra can ccDacut) can 


Briansends LXXXIII. Ho hiniiipeT) pen -DO bpian, ocup po euip 

to recall j^^Hqi ,^c[ DiaiT) -Dia opraT) coppo agaillea-D Opian, ocup 

coppuca-D cpoT) ocup ruapaprul leip. 1p an-o pin pue in 

plla paip 1 cin-D elaip C1II1 "Dctlua allanaip, ocup 

peippium ic T)Ul ap a ec anD. 'Colipaix) pirnop ecuppu 

ocup in gilla, ocup impoi]^ ppipin gilla, ocup -do bepr 

1 Conning. " Conaing, son of Donn- 
chuan," Kealinr/, i.e., Brian's nephew 
who was afterwards killed at the bat- 
tle of Clontarf ; but Keating adds, no 
•DO y.e'i^i 'oyiww^e ap é Comoyxba 
Caoinijin "Stilmne -oa loc -do bi ct^ 
imii[\T: |ié niuyicliaT). "Or accord- 
ing to some it was [Conaing] succes- 
sor of St. Kevin of Glendaloch that 
was playing with !Murchadh," mean- 
ing, no doubt, Conaing O'Carroll, ere- 
nagh of Glendaloch, whose death is re- 
corded by the Four Masters at 1031. 

2 Defeated. Keating adds, ctj; caé 
■glinneniama, "at the battle of Glen- 
mama," which is evidently the defeat 
alluded to. 

3 Yew tree. Alluding to Maohnordlia 
having concealed himself in a yew tree 
after the battle of Glenmama, see ch. 
Ixxi., p. 119, supra. Keating softens 
this insulting speech into o pi((n paoi 
pill, a\\ V\\\.\\\caT>, " 1 defy thee to do 
it, said Murchadli." 

* Taking leave. The whole chap- 
ter is thus given in B. : Cm ciria 

ctcc rciftla pfiitiaoy^cc -pnijill TDi^fi, 
TiluyichaT) (inac Oyimin), ocup 
Conaing, ocupiaT) oc iniiyix: piccilli. 
"Do ceagaips 1Tlaolmoifii\'Da be|xc 
a\i 171ui\chaT) "oa ■I^U50T) cluice 
pai|X. Ro peaiigaijex) ■lllu|\cha'D 
mon beiyic, ocup 1^o peg ayx lllaol- 
iTioi\i\'Da, ocup apbeixc ppjp : ap 
cu cucc an coriiaii\Lexiona5aMaiÍ5 
an Ui yio meabaTO poyii\o. Ro 
Tadi-D IJlaocinoTaYfoa a\\ na irn-oeYi- 
gaT) CO mó|x: "Do beyipa coriiaiifile 
■DÓib ayiip ip noca muigpe o^^lf^,a. 
ma úi|\ce poc com 'oa cucca, a|X 
pe. "Do cuaiT) -(xi Laijen "oa ceg 
Íeabéa j;an cea'DUgaT) gan ceilea- 
bifiOT) : " It happened also that he had 
some hasty words with ]\Iurchadh, son 
of Brian, and Conaing, who were placing 
chess. Maolmordha taught a move 
against Murchadh by which the game 
went against him. Murchadh became 
angry at this move, and he looked at 
Maolmordha and said to him. Thou art 
he who gavest advice to the foreigners 



Murchadh the next morninfy, arisino; out of a casual contro- 
versy at chess ; for as Murchadh and Conaing' were play- 
ing chess, Maelmordha was teaching against Murchadh, 
and he advised a move by which a game went against 
Murchadh. Murchadh became angry, and said: "It was 
thou that gavest advice to the foreigners when they were 
defeated."^ Maelmordha said: "I will give them advice Maeimor- 
again, and they shall not be defeated." Mui'chadh said : ^^ departs 

'^ ' 'J in anger. 

"Have the yew tree'^ made ready for them by yourself" 
Maelmordha became angered, and retired to his bed-room 
without permission, without taking leave.'' 

LXXXIII. This was told to Brian, and he sent a mes- Brian sends 
senger'^ after him to detain him until Brian should con- ^. ^^^^ 

. . . aim. 

verse with him, and until he should cany away with him 
cattle and pay. The messenger overtook hÍTn at the end 
of the plank-bridge of Cell Dálua, on the east side, and he 
was mounting his horse there. A dispute ensued between 
him and the messenger, and he turned on the messenger 
and gave him a stroke of a yew horse-switch on his head, 

on the day when they were defeated. 
Maelmordha said in great -«Tath, I 
will give them advice again, and they 
shall not be defeated. Murchadh said, 
Let the yew tree be ready for thee to 
sit on, said he. The king of Laighen 
went to his bedchamber, -svithout ask- 
ing permission, without taking leave." 
On comparing this passage with Keat- 
ing's narrative, and with the context, 
it is evident that something is omitted 
in both MSS., and that we should read, 
'• ilaolmordha retired to his bedcham- 
ber, and next morning left the house, 
without asking permission or taking 
leave." Keating says, difigii^ a muca 
na TnaTDne, ocu-p pogbctiy^ an bail« 
j^an ceibo^iia'D -00 Oip.ian : "He 
arose early in the morning and left 
the place without bidding farewell to 

^Messenger. T)ocui-fi5il-ta5yiaT)a 
"DO péiTi 'DO po'pca'ó \ú Laijen, .1. Co- 
5ai"iÚTi ainm an 5iolla,ocu 1^5611111" 

an gilla v^'^V-, ocu'p piaixni^ W-^X 
clot) CO fiij G-jienT) aifi cent) cuaTv- 
ay^cai?^ oi]! ocu^ éiccij. Impay^an 
\x\ p.i'p ocuy" -pe a-\\ ec a cant) cUtifi, 
Cille nú. íua, ocup C15 beim -oon 
eaclai-pc ibaip. 50 5Uix hy.^y cnaiiia 
an cnTD tiile, ocu-p ip imcajx bai 
paip.coceo^ 1x15 C^iien-D, B. : "He 
sent an officer of his own to stop the 
king of Laighen. Cogarán was the 
name of the servant ; and the sen^ant 
gave him the message, and asked him 
to return to the king of Ireland for 
wages of gold and vestments. The 
king piaelmordha] turned upon him, 
and he was on horseback at the head 
of the plank-bridge of Cell da lua, 
[KiUaloe], and struck him a blow 
with a horse-switch of j'ew, so that he 
broke all the bones of his head, and he 
was carried back to the house of the 
king of Erinn." The next clause from 
nnaiicuix to umm m gilla, is omitted 


co5CCT)1i ^ccexilTel Tie ^ccllccibli. 

dha smites 
the messen- 

He raises a 

with the 
kings of 
and West 

beim T)i eaclaifc ibai]! t)o na ceiiT), coia bfiif cnama 
in CHIT) uli. Imaiictii^ bai pa11^ in ^illcc co CenD CoiiaT». 
Cocaiiún, -Diia, ainm in pllct. Uobail T)0 -paiinn-D ann 
rocu ma "DiaiD, ocu]» can a lectiT) ay comaT) ^iiajxac. 
CCfbejiT: 0]iian ^y yoy colba a éaigi pein yo fiiipeax» 
C0111 ymy, ocuv m pell ma €15 pern vo ^ena-o pai^i. 

LXXXIV. ]Zo poic, mioppo, irnaelniop.T)a m aTochi 
fin coSm Leaf CCbain, 1 nUibbuDi .1. co -eaclllic Oefoai, 
fi5 11a niOii-Di. lio foic moc a^inambafac m ^afbraim- 
naig, CO T;eac T)iinlam5 mic "ouarail .1. fi lafraif Lipi, 
ociif nmaif^ef niari La^en ma conm co fici fin, 
ociif ma conroail; ociif mmi^iT) iDOib micaDiif 'oogbail 
no, octif ail bferfi 'oo rrabaift: aif fem, ocuf af in 
cu^eT) uli. If 1 coniafli fof af T)elai5 leo impo c(f 
Ofian, ocuf ymv^z re&a co "piairbeprac mac illufcef- 
rai^ Hi Neill .1. co fig CC1I15, ocu)^ airnir; T)0 cogaT) "do 
T)enam ffi ITlaelfeclainT), ocuf ffi hlllcaib, pairef 
fcffa ele co "Pefgal Ha Pi^uaifc co fig Ofepni, ocUf co 
bllalgafg tia Ciafoa fi Cafbfi, ocuf foemaio fin uli 
mipoT) af Ofian. 

T)o foni piarbefcac cfec 1 TTIi'di, ocuf fo infeT:af 
fofmof ITliTii leif. CCf T)ifiT)e fo mafbaT) Ofli mac 
T)ubcmT) mi c1maif,fef5faT)a'D0 Ofian, ocuf THofmaef 
va maefaib e, ocuf fochai'oe ele. T)o f onai) cfec mof 
ele f e hUalgafg Ua Ciafoa ocuf fe pefgal Ua Huaijic 

1 Pursue. Rop úil -Dpoiynnn ami 
cocc aiToectjaiT) -)ii Lctiseri, ocuf 
gati a leigin afp 50 ma-b ixiaixctc, 
B. : " Some were anxious to pursue 
the king of Laigen and not to let him 
off until he made submission." 

2 Demand. •Sifipenicti'D, B. 
^Treacherous. Ocuf ni peaLLmaifi 

ccij péin T)0 gen am -páii\, B. 

* AlaelmorcVta. llluoLinoiiia'Da 
mac 1TluyxchaT)a, B. 

5 Anived. Ramie, B. 

6 SonnfBerdai. Co fem Lif CCbúm 
in uiU buToe co rec mic beiiToe, 
B. : "At Senlis Abáiu [old Fort of 

St. Abban] in Ui-Buidhi, to the house 
of the son of Benne." 

''Early. For moc cqxnamba|xac, 
B. reads aixnama|\ac. 

8 Assembled. Ocuf fio cimaiyig- 
fercajx maice an cuicci-o uile mo 
comne ocuf ma coiii'óáii, B. : "And 
the nobles of the whole province as- 
sembled to meet him, and in his pre- 

9 Received. B. omits TDajbail/ tdo. 

10 Decision. If í coriiaiiile a.\\ tqi 
cirmeaT) aca, impoT) ap, bjiicm, B. : 
"This was the decision that they came 
to, to turn against Brian." 


and broke all the bones of the head. It was necessary Maelmor- 
to cany the messenger back to Cenn-coradh. And Co- f^g^j^™,'^*^^ 
caran was the name of tlie messenger. Some were anxious ger 
to pui'sue^ him [Maelmordha] then, and not allow him to 
escape imtil he made submission. But Brian said it 
should be at the threshold of his own house he would 
demand- justice from him, and that he would not prove 
treacherous^ to him in his own house. 

LXXXIV. Maelmordha* arrived'^ that night at Sen Leas He raises a 
Abáinn, in Ui-Buidhi, \-iz., at the house of the son of^'^'^^^^ 
Berdai,*^ king of Ui-mBuidhi. He arrived early ^ the next Brian. 
morning at the Garbh Thamhnach, at the house of Dun- 
lang, son of Tuathal, king of larthar Liphi ; and the nobles 
of Laighin assembled^ to meet him at that place, and in 
convention ; and he told them that he had received^ dis- 
honour, and that reproachful words were applied to himself 
and to all the pro\ánce. The decision'" that they came to 
thereupon was to turn against Brian ; and they sent 
messengers to Flaithbhertach, son of Muirchertach O'Neill, 
i.e., to'' the king of Ailech, exhorting'^ him to make war 
upon Maelsechlainn and Uladh; and other messengers 
were despatched to Ferghal Ua Ruairc, king of Brefni ; 
and to Ualgarg O'Ciardha, king of Caii-bri; and these all'^ 
consented to tm-n against Brian. 

Flaithbhertach made a plunder in Midhe, and the O'XeiU 
greater part'* of Midhe was ravaged by him. It was on ki^!!s^of 
this occasion was slain Osli,'^ son of Dubhcenn, son of Cairbre 
Imar, an officer of Brian, and one of his high stewards, Brefni 
and many more. Another great plunder was made by'*"' plunders 

11 To. B. omits, .1. CO. ■. brackets is a mere repetition by a cle- 

12 Exhorting. CC aicne "DO coja-o rical error of the scribe. 

•DO "óenam a-p, niaeleclainx). yai- | ^^ These all. This clause is omitted 

ceiT. peay^a ete co hlktljai^j; hua j in B. 

Ciafiia'Da co fii Caiixpyie, ocuy^ co " Greater part, tlixinoi^ llli-oe 

^eixgal Ó Htiaiiic co y>j Oixeipne uile leii^, octcr tt -di vm, B. 

[ocu-p a aiCTie X)0 cogcró "oo f)eiiaTÍi | i^ QgH^ Qj. Posli; the Flosa or Flo- 

aiT, maeleclaiiTD ocu-p ayi pectiaaili sius, of the Sagas. 

iili-De, ocup impoT) a-\\ h\x\im']. B. : | w By. le hllalsaiig uu CmiiTa-Da, 

But it is evident that the clause within ocur le. B. 



cosccT)ti scceT)Viel Re- ^ccllaibl"). 

lainn de- 
feats them, 
A.D. 1012. 

He plun- 
ders the 
as far as 

His son and 
200 others 

The fo- 
and Leiu- 

lainn com- 
plains to 

poll TTlaelfeclairTD, coii aiii^fer; ^alen^a, co|i niaiabfcrc 
T)oniiiall iTiac 'OoncaiT) 11a 1TlaelfeclaiiiT>, iii§T)omTia 
Temiiac, ocuf Ceyinac mac "piaiiTO, \l^ Lini, ocuf Seiian 
Via Leucan, |ii ^alenj, ocuy focliaiT)e ele. CCf-a|ir:ai5 
1T1 aelf eclcn itd i a^if i n ofizo, co rue 1T1 aelfeclaiiTo r;acuii, 
ocuf coji maiibax) leif tlal^aii^ 11 a Ciait'oa fii Ca|ib|ii, 
ocu)' "CaD^ tia Ceimacan, ai^iin biiepm, ocuy fochai'oe 
ele aiTD. 

T)a iToiiaD c|iec ]\e Tnaelj^claiiiT» laii^^in yo]x ^allaib, 
ocUf ifio inint: co OeiiTD GDaiji; octif yio aiijiaiT) oiit:o 
Tnaelmoyi'Da mac TDiiyica'Da, ociif §it;|iiiic mac CCmiaib, 
ocu]^ ^aill ocuf Lapn, ocuf p.o ma|ib]\rc iii ryief cjieac 
TDa ciiecaib iili. lT)]iocaiii aiTO in uCCtbanac mac 
maelfeclaiiiT), ocuf Lojican mac eafei^e^niT) [iii] 
Ceneil TTlecaiii, ocuf Xja cer aiioeri jiui. 

LXXXV. T)a iioiiaD moiifliia^ex) ia]ifiii la ^allaib, 
octif yte La^mb, ocuf p.o hiniie-D TTiiT)! leo co "Pabuii 
Pecni, octif fucfaT: bjiair; mop. ocuf bnap. T)iaifmiri leo 
a 'CeiimiiiiTD "Pabaiii. "Oa loT;a|i- rea&a laiifin o 
TTlaelfeclaiTTD T)a acaim fin fe Ofian .i. a h\i ca 
hinfCT), ociif a macn ca mafbat), ociif nafioxiaim cocaT) 
^all ociif Lagen ociif Of epn ociif Cafbfi ocuf Cenel 
Cogain m oen abull faif. 

1 Upo7i. CCyi, B., "against." 

" Royal heir. B. omits )\i5'D0tiiTia 
'Cenijxac, and reads ocu f 511 ifi 111 a\ih- 
fcrc Ceayinac mac flainn. The 
Four Masters and Ann. Ult. call him 

3 Line. So in both MS. But we 
should read Luiffhne. See Four Mast. 
and Aim. Ult. 1012. 

* Senan. -Senac ó Lúcún ixí ^ail- 
eng; 50 iriiijfac pii^u mi-oe, ociif 
moelfeclanin poifiiia, ocuf cug- 
f trc cacaifi'Da céile, <,\}fi mttiibfat: 
cmx) Ualjcqxcc «a CiaiftYif)a 1115 
Caiyi.pifie, ocuf Ta-Dj; ó Ceifitiacán 
oiytti-i?; biieiprie, ocuy^ -ocdne imricf 
eile, B. : " Senach O'Lóchán, king of 

Gaileng ; until the men of Meath and 
Maelseehlainn overtook them, and they 
had a skirmish together, in which were 
slain Ualgarg Ua Ciarrdha, king of 
Cairpre, and Tadhg O'Cernachán, sub- 
king of Brefne, and many other men." 
The Four Masters read " Sen (in tia 
Leocban, Lord of Gaileng." 

5 Overtook. Over af caixcaig in D. 
the original scribe has written no av- 
caixiT) • i.e., " or af rajiiT)," a different 
form of the same word. 

^ After this. B. omits mififin, and 
reads ayi jalLaib ocuf ]\o hrnvfiaj). 

7 But. B. reads ocuf jxuc oixifia. 
CCyi''o in the text is for ca^iii- 



Ualgarg Ua Ciardha. and by Ferghal Ua Ruairc upon^ 
Maelsechlainn ; and they plundered the Gailenga, and tliey 
killed Domlmall, son of Donnchadh, grandson of Maelsech- 
lainn, royal heir- of Temhair, and Cernach, son of Flann, 
king of Line,^ and Senan^ Ua Leuchan,king of Gaileng,and 
many others. After this, Maelsechlainn overtook" them ; Maeisech- 
and Maelsechlaimi gave them battle, in which Ualgarg Ua ^^^ ^^'^^ 
Ciardha, king of Cah'bri, and Tadhg Ua Cearnachan, sub- A.D. 1012. 
king of Brefni, and many others were kiUed by him. 

A plundering expedition was made after this** by Mael- He pltm- 
sechlaimi ao-ainst the foreio-ners, and he ravaged as far as ^*^". ^^^ 

o o ' o loreigners 

Benn Edak ; but" Maelmordha, son of Murchadh, and as far as 
Sitriuc, son of Amhlaibh, and the foreigners, and the 
Laighin* overtook them, and killed the whole^ of one of 
their three plundering parties. There fell there the His son and 
Albanach,^" son of Maelsechlainn, and Lorcan, son of gj^?^*'*^®'"^ 
Echtigern [king]^^ of Cinel Mechair, and two hundred 
along with them. 

LXXXV. A gi'eat expedition'- was afterwards under- The fo- 
taken by the foreigners and the Laighin, and Midhe was anTLeL- 
plundered by them as far as Fabhar of Fechin ; and many stermen 
captives and cattle innumerable were canied off by them M^tiT 
from the Term on of Fabhar. After which messengers went 
from Maelsechlainn to Brian, to complain of this, namely, Maeisech- 
that his territory was plundered and his sons killed, and Jja^nsTo^' 
praying him not to permit the foreigners and the Laighin, Brian, 
and the Brefni, and the Cairljri, and the Cinel-Eoghain, 
to come all together'^ against him. 

8 And the Laighin. B. has ocu')'' 
j;aiLi Lai5eTi " and the foreigners of 
Laighen." "gu maiib-pctr, B. 

9 The whole. B. omits mXa. The 
FourM. (1012)read, ci\eic •Diacqie- 
acailj, " one of his phindering parties." 

10 The Albanach, i.e., the Scotchman. 
Ann. Inisf. (Dubl.) and Four Masters 
read, "Flann, son of Maelsechlainn." 
ForiT)|iocaiix,B. reads, oai'pco'p.caiTT,. 

11 King. This -word is inserted from 
B. The Four Masters say that it -was 
the son of Lorcan, not Lorcan himself, 
who was slain on this occasion ; and 
they add, ' " This was the defeat of 
Drainen," now Drinan, comity Dublin. 

^2 Expedition. This chapter occurs 
only in D. 

13 Together. CCbuli is for pcrubaU, 
"at the same time;" simul. 


C0bCCT)1i f;rce"o1iel ue Bccllcabti. 

Ossory and 

the country 
from Glan- 
daloch to 

They block- 
ade Dublin. 

Brian ad- 

The auxili- 
aries of the 

LXXXVI. T)a jioiKCT) moii fUiaset) pe1^ miiTnan ocuf 
Coriccct: la bj^ictn lafifm 111 iiOfpa^ib ocu]^ ilLcf^inb, 
ociif 110 inint: Oviiai^i leo. T)a jioni "mtiiacccD mctc 
bynain ciiec 111011 ilLccpnb, octif iio aip.^ in r;ip uli co 
IXOct; i^aniuT) Cainipn, ociif \>-o iniiefccnii m t\\í 11I1 ocuf 
110 loifc, ocuf fiuc b|iair; nioii leif, ociif biiai\T)icqiiTiit;i, 
ocuy 1^0 focT: co CiliniaisneiiT), co paci CCca Clictr. Ro 
l^uacr; bjaian, am, ociip 111 flua^ ina coiiToail, -do iionfar 
-pojibafi ociif 1:01100111 et: po)! CCi; Cliar, ociif poi"loiif;poii(: 
aiiT». bara^i aiiT) fiii ó peil Ciayian popnaiii co norlaic 
ino]i, ocup 111 110 iiiaiipai; ^aill no Lasm piiifin oen pall, 
no oen car, no oen coma -do. T-apnic TDOib alloin ranic 
bjiian 'Da rai^ po norlai^. 

LXXXVII. "Do ^mreii nioyi plna^eT) ele la bjiian a^i 
-pel I partial c eiipai^, -do gabail poji. Qtv Clurc ocnp a|i 
ta^in. Ot: cnalcrcaji, riia, ^ccill in rocap-nl pin cucii, 
p.o ciipi" -ecoa ociip peppa ap cac ler iKrcib, "do cinol 
ropeac ocnp pociiaiT)! cncu, "do pepral cam "do bpian. 
R.0 T:ocnpe'D cucu, em b^ioDop lapla, ocnp CCmlaib mac 
pi toclanT) .1. va lapla Caipi, ocup oiiapcipo Saxan uli. 

1 After- this. B. omits 

2 Osraighe. The clause within brack- 
ets is omitted in B. 

3 The vhole. B. omits uLe. 

* Caimhf/hen: i.e., the religious house 
or monasteiy of St. Caimhghen, (St. 
Kevin,) of Glandaloch. According to 
the reading of D. this devastation was 
by Murchadh, son of Brian; but B., 
by omitting the words within brackets, 
makes Brian himself the devastator. 

3 Country. Ocupxio hm'D-p.aT) an 
rA\i i^eip, ocup ixucc biioTO ^uó]x 
eipce, ocupyio piacc co Cill lllaij- 
neann, co prntce iCta Cliac cona 
piuctj, ocup "DO -jionipuc poyibaip 
ocup T^oiaconnécc poix CCé CLicct, 
ocup -DO bara-p, ann ó peil Cmixan, 
7YiL, B.: "And the coimtry was ra- 
vaged by him, and many captives 
taken by him, and he marched to 

Cill Maighnenn, to the green of Ath 
Cliath, with his army, and they made 
a siege and a blockade round Ath 
Cliath, and remained there from the 
Feast of Ciaran, &c." 

^ To join him. Lit., in his presence : 
i.e., Brian with his army came up to 
join his son Murchadh. 

■^ Great Christmas. See above, p. 
113 and p. 117. 

8 Subsidy. B. reads, m lao inayi- 
aigpec j^ailt itiOT) Laijin icro pyiip 
an jxe pni im gutll, nn cac, no itn 

3 Provisions. CC Lóince, B. 

1« On. 1m, B., "about." 

1^ In sprinff. Om. B. 

12 Attack. T)o gabail ayx, B. 

13 When. ifio cuaUfT-aix nnoyiiao 
501II/ (Xta cirnt an coicepcal pni 
cuca cuiifiic pepa, ocup cecca a\i 



LXXXVI. After tliis^ the men of Mumhan and of Brian 
Connacht, under Brian, made a ffreat expedition ag-ainst J'J"'^'^*'''* 

_' . _ *=' _ ^ f Ussorr and 

the Osraighe and against the Laighin, [and Osraighe^ was Leinster. 
ravaged by them. Mm'chadh, sou of Brian, made a great Murchad 
plunder of the Laighin], and he devastated the whole^ devastates 
countiy, until he reached the community of Caimhghen/ from Gian- 
and he ravaged and bm-nt the whole country^ ; and many ^}."^^^. *" 
captives were carried off by him, and cattle inniunerable ; ham. 
and he came to Cill-Maighnenn, to the green of Ath 
Cliath. Then Brian and the army arrived to join him.*' 
They made a siege and blockade round Ath Cliath, and Theybiock- 
an encampment there. They were there from the festival ^^"^ "^ '"* 
of Ciaran in harvest, to great Christmas''; and neither 
the foreigners nor the Laighin jdelded him, dmdug that 
time, one hostage, nor one battle, nor one subsidy.* So 
when their provisions^ were exhausted, Brian retired to 
his home about Christmas. 

LXXXVII. Another great expedition was made b}^ ^rjaQ ad- 
Brian on'° the festival of Patrick in spring,' ' to attack'^ Ath vances 
Cliath and the Laighin. But when'^ the foreigners heard ifubUn. 
of this muster coming against them, they sent messengers 
and ambassadors every where around them, to gather 
troops and armies unto them, to meet Brian in battle. 
They invited unto them Brodoi-, the earl, and Amlaibh, The auxili- 
son of the king of Lochlann, i.e. the two earls of Cair, ariesofthe 
and of all the north of Saxon-land.'^ These two were °^^'^^'*^" 

5ac het vatmV) -do z^x\ót ytuaij, 
ocu-p •pocai'oe cuca, "do pi\e]^C(.tL 
coca "DO byiian, B. It will be seen 
that D. reads jiey^caL for ■pi-ie|^cali 
omitting the Initial p, as usual in that 

i< Saxon-land : meaning England. 
B. reads, Ro cocuiixea-o cuca cmnpn 
bi-io-Dayx mfila Caifii hCC-pca-Dal 
mac T^i LochLan-D, ocu'p CC-pca'oal 
iai\laCaiiii hCC'pcoDat, .1. yii i;uai-p- 
ceixc ^íaxan, ocu'p caTpec loiiigp, 
71\l. : " They invited to them Brodar, 

the Earl of Cair Ascadal, son of the 
king of Lochlann, and Ascadal, earl 
of Cair Ascadal, viz., king of the 
north of Saxon-land, and the chiefs 
of ships, &c." There is evidently some 
confusion in these readings. The An- 
nals of Loch Ce call Brodar laiila 
Caóiixe e-abfxoij, " Earl of Caer 
Ebroc" [i.e., York], but this must be 
a mistake. The romantic tale, called 
'' The Battle of Clontarf," has " Brodar 
and Asgal, two sons of the king of 


co5CCT)1i ^cce"Dliel ne ^ccllccibli. 

eo]Tpa nil in Diaf fin, can ca^ill, can airinn, can caDiif, 
can comayici -do T)ia no Da T)uni, do cill no do nemeaD, 
ocuf pice cer; Dana^i Dian, D0I17;, Dibe^icac, DiiiicpaiDcac, 
DO CCnmapjacaib alliTiai\Daib m^anoacaib, aca cpeic, 
ocuf ica paicleaD babein, no ayi oyi ocuf a^i a^isaT: ociif 
Superiority a\i cac inniuf a|icena. TI1 bai, iniop,iio, Danaii no 
Dibep^ac Don pcit: cer; i^in, can 'li^'i^^s lainDe^Da, railc, 
T;|ienDtialai5, T;aiT:nemai5, do layitinD airh airle^'ra, no 
Duma inntia|i nemeiipDi, ima T:oebaib, ociif imiTia cne- 
yaib leo o cennaib co boiiDaib. 

Uo T:ocii|ieD ciicu, Dna, §nicixaiD mac Lor:aiiT,, layila 

infi 0|ic ocuf na ninfi ajicena, ocuf comx^inoi p^oig 

an-iveswitii btii|ib, ba|ibaiiDa,DiceilliD,DOcifc, DOcomainDjDOgallaib 

from"h^ infi Oiic, ociif in]M Cai: ; a TTIanainD, ocuf a Sci, ociif a 

Isles. LeoDtif ; a CinD 731111, ocuf a bCCi|xe|i ^ocDel, ocuf Da 

bayiun a Co|xii biiet^naib, ociif Coi\nDabbliT:eoc a O^ieT:- 

nctib C1II1 TTltiiii. 

The sons of Ro T:ocu)ieD cucu, Diia, Ca^^U1f ocii]^ Gbiiic, Da meic 

France^ °^ I^^S Pi^ctnc, 0CÍ1V piat:, r^ien miliD LoclaiiD, octif Conmael 

with r^peirel. T)a ^ioct:, z^a, in lon^ef 1^1 n af cac ai^iD co 

a^raS"™ ^^^C^ Clurc. bai, Dna, focfiaiDi aDbul mop, 1 nCCr Cliai 

Brian. baDGin .1. qii cara comopa comnepra. *Da |iocr, Dna, 

ITloelmopDa mac ITltipcaDa mic pnD, iai La^en, ocup 

focpaiDi La^en ocuf Ua CenDfebaig leip, co dv Cliar:. 

"Cyii cam moyia DibpiDC. 

of the 



earl of 

1 Danars. This word, thougli ori- 
ginally signifying Danes, is often used 
in the sense of violent, villanous, fe- 
rocious, persons. It probably has this 
signification here, and is certainlj' so 
used again, lines 4 and 7, of this page. 
B. omits ul/i, " all." 

2 Veneration, 'gccn "paicilL, gan 
aicriTun, B. 

s For man. *Do "Dice no 'DÚme, 
•DO ticterti, no "do rieimeT), B. : " For 
God or man, for saint or for sanctuary." 

* Two thousand. Lit, " twenty 
hundred." So both MSS. ; but the 

An?i. Ulf., Four Mast, and Leabkar 
Gabhala, read "one thousand." 

5 Hard-hearted. B. omits T)Uia- 
cifxaiT)eac, and reads, ■Duii'oibeiaccac 
"00 'Dhanniaficcail3, supplying the in- 
itial T), which, as usual, is dropped in D. 

'' Selling. CCyi na cc^ieic, ocup 
a\\ na ccenTiac ap, ó^a, ocu-p a\\ 
loiinmupmayiaen xiwi, B. : "Selling 
and hiring themselves for gold and for 
treasure, along with them." 

"^ There was not. Ni jioitJe imoyi- 
110, B. 

8 Trijile-plated. cciae-Dualaij, B. 


the chiefs of ships, and outlaws, and Danars' of all the 
west of Em-ope, liaATng no reverence, veneration,^ respect, or 
mercy for God or for man,^ for church or for sanctuar}^, at 
the head of two thousand^ ci-uel, villanous, ferocious, 
plundermg, hard-hearted,^ foreign, wonderful Daimiar- 
kians, selling^ and hiring themselves for gold and silver, 
and other treasure as well. And there was not^ one Superiority 
villain or robber of that two thousand who had not ^^^^^ 
polished, strong, triple-plated,* ghttering armour of armour, 
refined iron, or of cool uncorroding^ brass, encasing their 
sides and bodies fi'om head to foot. 

They invited to them also Siucrad,^° son of Lotar, earl of Sigurd, 
the Ore islands, and of other islands also ; with an assem- q^^^^^. 
bled army of ignorant, barbarous, thoughtless, irreclaim- arrivesTvith 
able, unsociable foreigners of the Ore islands, and of the ^""^g 
Cat islands; from Manann, and fi'om Sci, and from Leo- Isles. 
dhus ; from Cenn Tire, and from Airer-gaedhel ; and two 
barons^ ^ of the Corr Britons, and Comdabbliteoc of the 
Britons of Gill Muni. 

They in^^ted to them also Carlus and Ebric, ' - two sons The sons of 
of the king of France, and Plat, a strong knight of Loch- f,l^l^^°^ 
lann, and the hero Conmael.'^ This fleet then amved^^ "«"itii 
from every quarter at Ath Cliath. There were also in aa;a^irfst °"^ 
Ath Cliath itself^' a ver}^ gi"eat force, namely, three very Brian, 
great strong battalions ; for Maelmordlia, son of Mur- 
chadh, son of Finn,^^ king of Laighin, and the muster 
of Laighin, and of Ui Ceimselaigh,''' with him, came to 
Ath Chath. These formed^ ^ three great battalions. 

^ Cool,uncorroding. lirDpuaiyi neirii 
1116111515 una cnect-paib teo 6 in-DCtib 
CO bonnaib, B. 

I*' Siucrad. " Sitric, son of Lodar," 
B. " Sichfrith, son of Lodar,'' Four 
Mast. " Siuchradh, son of Lodar," 
Ann. Ult. " Sigurd, Hlbdver's son," 
NiaTs Saga., cap. clviii. 

11 Tu'o harons. B. reads, ocur" C( 
Oayi-Tiu, ocu^^ a Coiiibifieaxnaib, 
octi|^ a CoianbLiceoc, ocu^-" a bineac- 
naib CiUe llluine : "And from 

from Com-bliteoc, and from the Britons 
of Cm-Muine [St. David's]." 

12 Ebric. eilyiic, B. 

13 Conmael. Illaol, B. 

n Arrived. "Do iioccaTDCtp. rp.a 
an loin5e-p -jrin, B. 

13 Itself. 13. reads, ocuy^ -do bi 1^0- 
qicti-oe cróbab 111 CCc Clictr péin .1. 
cyii coca commóiia coimneixcae. 

1^ Son of Finn. Om., B. 

'^' And of Ui Cennselaigh. Om., B. 

1^ These formed. \loY oc\\fC)\S cctta 

Barru and from the Corrbritons, and 1 commóifia "DOibréin, B. 


cObCC"DTi ^cceTDtiel ue sccllccibli. 

The forces 
of Brian. 

He plun- 
ders all 

Fingal and 



Brian holds 
a council. 

The march 
of Brian's 

LXXXVIII. Imriii^a, imojiiio, biiicnn r»iic CenneT)i5 
\i) OpeiiT). Ro -iiiolio CI1C1 yetu noc vo iiecai^i é vo 
peyiaib O^ieiTD .1. va ciiiceT) iniiman ocuy Conacca, ociif 
pi]! Tf\^v^ ; ocnp ni ba oaii"ipi 'DOfiini p]\ 1Dit)i, iiaii^ "oa 
pin^i pein co~i"ieicpit:ip é p.e hiicx in cam pin, ce ran- 
ccrcccyi ip in comrinol. Ocnp panccrcctp, -pa, co hCCr 
Cbar. Ocnp po inpit; Ua ^abla, ocnp lía T)onca'Da, octip 
Pni ^all nil leo. Ro lopceD leo Cell RlaipieiiT). Ro 
cupeT), V)^a, 'Oonca'D mac Ojiiain ocup ^laplair "Oalcaip, 
ociip rpep cau tntiman pop rnaraib Lo^en, ocnp niDiaiT) 
na mi]inT:ep, Dia napcam ocnp Dia in-DjiniT) in ripi. Or; 
conccrcap na ^aill na poplopci 1 pini ocnp vumi GT:aip, 
cancarap ma na^aiT) 1 111 05 nGl'oa, ocnp p.op compaicpec 
ocnp zucyaz, a ni'ona cara op aipT». 

1p anx) bc[i Opian anT)pen ap paci CC€a Cliaé, ocup 
mari X)áilcaip in aipecrnp, im íTlaelpeclainT) ocup ini 
IDupcaT), ocup im Conainj;, ocnp im 'Ca'og inac Carail, 
ocup im marib Conaci: ape en a, ocnp pip 'mum an, ocup 
pip iini'Di ; aco maT) enni nip ba pnn oen pip ic pepaib 
TTIiT)i pe cac, no ic iTlaelpeclainT). 

LXXXIX. "Da TDecapraip Opian na-oa "oapaii^ co 
pacaprap naT) in cipi comcpninT), comop, cengailn, 

1 Now. B. omits 1111011-1^0. 

^ King. CCiTi'Dlii, B., "chief king." 

3 Obeyed. In neoc 110 pi\eccaii\ é, 
B. Lit., "responded to him." 

i Conacht. B. reads, ocup cuisex) 
Connacc, ocup beccán -do cuige-D 
UUro: "and the pro\-ince of Cou- 
nacht, and a small portion of the pro- 
vince of Uladh." 

5 Faith/td. Rob eccaii\ipi vú pan 
piyi mif)e canscrcayi na tinól, o^\ 
"DÓij i\o piT)iia CO ccixeiccpeccaip é 
yie iiucc an cara, B. 

6 And ihey. B. omits this clause. 
'And Ui Gabla. Mo Inn'DYiUT) Inut 

■J^abyia, B. : " They plundered Ui 
Gabhra," &c., omitting and. 

** AU. B. omits ul.1 ieo. 

" By them. B. reads, ocup yio toi|^- 
C6T) Cluuin "DalUiin, ocup Cell, 

lllaijnenn lu bp.ian : "And Cluain 
Dallcain [Clondalkin], and Cill :Maigh- 
neun [Kilmainham] were burnt by 

lo^Vejt» levies. Lit., "green le%'ies." 
Co nslapaTjIi, Duhl. Ann. Inisf., 
which Dr. O'Conor translates "cum 
cceruleis militibus Dalcassiorum," and 
explains Gallo-glass, or soldiers painted 
a livid colour to excite terror, Bei: 
Ilih. Sciiptt. tom. ii. The romantic 
tale, " Battle of Clontarf," reads, co 

^i Were sent. Ro rucuiixeax), B. 

1'- Territories. 1 i:oi\r,ucrcaib, B. 

13 The country. "Da nmniiax) ocup 
•Da naifisam, B., "to plunder and 

w Saio. Oc conncaraia, B. 

15 Fine. Pmi 'Sail ocup accuaic 



LXXXVIII. To return now' to Brian, son of Cennedigh, The forces 
king^ of Erinn. There assembled around him all that ^ "'''"■ 
obeyed^ him of the men of Erinn, namely, the two pro- 
vinces of Mumhain and Conacht,* and the men of Midhe ; 
but the men of Midhe were not faithful'^ to him, for he 
knew himself that they would desert him at the approach 
of that battle, although they came to the assembly. And 
they'' now reached Ath Cliath. And^ Ui Gablila, and Ui He piun- 
Donnchadha, and alP Fine Gall were plundered by them. *^®^* ^^} 

o mi around 

Gill Maighnenn was burned by them.^ Then Donnchad, Dublin, 
son of Brian, and the new levies'" of the Dal Cais, and 
the third battalion of Mumhain were sent" into the ter- 
ritories'^ of Laighin, in the absence of its people, to spoil 
and plunder the country.'^ When the foreigners saw'* Fingaiand 
the conflagration in Fine'^ Gall and the district of Edar, ^^^^ 
they came against them in Magh n-Elda,'^ and tliey met, 
and raised their standards of battle on high. 

Brian was then on the plain' ^ of Ath Cliath, in council Brian holds 
with the nobles of the Dal Cais,'« and with Maelseclilainn, ^ '=°^^'^- 
and with Murchadh, and with Conaing, and with Tadhg, 
son of Cathal, and with the nobles of Conacht together, 
and with the men of Mumhain and the men of Midlie;''-* 
but it happened that the men of Midhe and Maelseclilainn 
were not of one mind with the rest.^° 

LXXXIX. Brian looked out behind him and beheld the The march 
battle phalanx, compact, huge, disciplined, moving in °^ ^'''^" ^ 

&'Daiyi, B., which readings being more 
correct, are adopted in the translation. 
16 7w Magh-n-Elda. Co 111 ccj iidca 
ocu-pifio coyiaij-pec a mo'óna'Da catct 
or myx), B.: "To Magh-n-Elta, and 
they ranged their standards of battle 
on high." 

17 Plain. Paicce, B. 

18 Dal Cais. Ocuy^ nictice pel;^ 
ii6-p-enn cc nai]ieaci:a|^ ime ami, 
nn llluixcaT), 7c., B. : "And the 
nobles of the men of Erenn with him 
there, with Murchadh," &c. 

19 Midhe. B. omits all mention of 
Maelsechlainn and the men of Midhe 
or Meath, and reads, ocu'p im maicib 
Connacc ocuy^ tlltiriian, "and with 
the nobles of Connacht and Mumhain." 

20 The rest. B. reads, (Xcc cena, 
nip, bo Yiun ainpiYi ag illccel-pec- 
Utmn fie cac, oiyT, inni-pic •pean- 
cai'oe CO ccaiYimc, 7c. : " But Mael- 
sechlainn was not of one mind with the 
rest; for historians relate," &c., pro- 
ceeding as in chap, xc, and omitting 
the whole of chap. Ixxxix. 

156 cObCCDl! ^aeT)1iel ne ^ocLlccibli. 

co]"iairi cara, co zm -cayzac, co cobfaiT) coDnac, co 
lioenra-Dac oeiimennmac, ic flaip in maip cticu, ocuf 
■x. iTieiip ocuf r|ii pciT: oyiiio, 'do T>e\i-^, ociif T)0 buiT)i, 
ociif 75110111, ocuf T)0 cenel caca "ocrca ; mon meii^i ipiri 
f ap. fiiaciiiT), feiTCa, fainemail, \ivic biiaiD [cccca] carcc 
ociii^ cacct cliarcc, ocuf caca con^ala, \v\y a|i biiiTfeT» 
.1111. cam comcci innniat) fin .i. meyi^i oji^jianemail 
Peji^ail llaRuaiiic, aiiiDin t;iiai;biaepni ocuf Conmacni, 
ociii^ ■peji^al pein an-opin, ociif T)oiTinall mac Ra^allai^, 
ocup "gilla na ■Noeni mac "Domnaill iia pep^ail, ocuf 
mairi riiai Opepni ociif Conmacni apcena. Ocuf ran- 
ccrcap ^aipit: on lon^popT:, ociip -Da paiTDferap anT», ocup 
T:anic pep^al ociip na mai;i map apabi Opian "oa a-gal- 
Unm, ocup Da peapapT:ap bpian pailT:i cun-oail cap- 
-oemail pip, ocnp po epit; mupcaT) pemi, ocup po 
pai-opiiim ma ina-o ; ocup pobi bpian ic piappai^iT) peel 
"DC, ocnp ninippnim t)0, CCgt) mac Ual^aip^ Ua Ciap-oa, 
pi Capbpi, -oemeT) nacr; leip -oocnm in cara pin, vo 
ciin;5iuim pe bpian; ocnp po mallaig bpian anDpin IJa 
CiapTDa ocnp Capbpi, ocnp -cue bennacc ap "Pep^al ocn]^ 
ccp peapaib bpepni aiicena. 
Another XC. "Dai^ ipcT) ininpiT: paipcnD CO -apnic no na 

ballmapacaib a onapapcal in na-oaich pemi pin vo 
cai^inm, ocup co pancarap co beiuT) GDaip, in r;pai: on 
concarap na poplopci ocup in oip ica hinpe-o; uaip. 
T:apcaT;ap 'do bpictn in avm-g pemi cap-oi -Doib co rp.och 
eipp ai^nambapac, can na poplopci vo Denum, co 
TOcbainp na peolcpainx), ocup ni impobDaip -oopip ; 
uaip pib e^ail leo ^aipce-o TTlupcaiT), ocnp "Dálcaip 


1 Fergal himself. This chapter oc- 
curs in D. and not in B. No mention 
of Fergal Ua Ruairc and his followers, 
as present in the battle, is to be found 
in the Annals, nor is he mentioned in 
the Book of Conquests, or by Keat- 

^Be/used. The MS. has TDemeT), 
for -DpeiiieT), or T)opeineT). 

^ Some. Seanchai'óe, B., "histo- 

* Battle. 1n a'ohais ixoinie, B., 
" the night before." 

5 When they savj. CCn can otí- 



silence, mutely, bravely, haughtily, unitedly, with one 
mind, traversing the plain towards them ; and three score 
and ten banners over them, of red, and of yellow, and of 
gTeen, and of all kinds of colours ; together with the ever- 
lasting, variegated, lucky, fortunate banner, that had 
gained the victory in every battle and in every conflict, 
and in every combat ; by which seven battles had been 
gained before that time, namely, the gold-spangled banner 
of Fergal Ua Ruairc, chief king of the tendtory of Brefni 
and Conmaicni ; and Ferial himself^ was there, and 
Domhnall, son of Ragallach, and Gilla-na-naemh, son of 
Domlinall, gi*andson of Fergal, and the nobles of the ter- 
ritory of Brefni and Conmaicni in like manner. And they 
came near the tent, and stopped there; and Fergal and 
the nobles advanced to where Brian was, to meet him, and 
Brian gave them a hearty friendly welcome ; and Mur- 
chadh rose up to him, and seated him in his place. Arid 
Brian asked him the news, and he told him that Aedh, son 
of Ualgaii'g Ua Ciardha, king of Cairbri, refused'^ to accom- 
pany him to that battle in defence of Brian. And there- 
fore Brian cursed Ua Ciardha, and the Cairbri, and gave 
a blessing to Fergal and to the men of Brefni also. 

XC. Some,^ indeed, have said that the pay of the Another 
pirates was spent the night before that battle,'* and ^'^'^'°"°*- 
that they had gone homeivards as far as Benn Edair, 
when they saw^ the conflagration and devastation of the 
country ; for they had offered Brian the night before,^ that 
if he would delay the burning until the morrow's sunrise, 
they would raise^ their sail-masts, and never retm-n again^ ; 
for they di'eaded the valour of Mm'chadli, and of the Dal 
Cais in general. 

conncctraii iia poYiloi-pcce i X!me- 
gall, ocu-p ail rii\ 5a ImTDi^eT), B. : 
" When they saw the conflagration in 
Fingall, and the country devastated." 
6 Xiffht before. In a'DUig )\oniie 
pn, B., •' the night before that." 

"• They would raise. Ocu-p co coc- 
paicip, B. 

8 Again. Ocu-p na hiompoK-oair 
■DO -iiTDi-j^i, uai^x -j-iob eccctil leo, 7c., 
B. D. has -p,ib for yxoh, evidently an 
eiTor of the scribe. 


co^ccoli 'gcce'Dliel no ^ccllccibli. 

Assembling XCI. CiT), of-Cf cict:, iw impoTtaii 111 lon^eccf, octif ran- 

forces caza]\ in oen inciT), ociif ^aill CCrct Clior, ocuf Lcr^m, co 

liabctraii .1111. ccrca comoiia comneiara. Cid, "Diia, ctcr bet 

Tjail glecac, ^onac, j:;lipiT-eac, pulectc, poii.T)eii5;, ccT^maii, 

cc7;aiib, ii^^alac, in coiiTDail fin "Oálcccif ociif -pei^ muinan 

ocuy Conctcr, ociif peyi Oyiepni, ociif ^all, ocii|^ la^en. 

Description Oocca^i, imo]iiTO, "Dim T»aiina leie in ccrcct fin ^laim 

of thefoices ^l^onmcqi, f;nfincciT., ^lecccc, ^cclctc, ^nimac, ^cqi^beo-oa, 

enemj'. 'Diiabfi^, "Dian, T)eninieT:ac, 'Dafact;ac, 'DiceilliT), 'oocoifc, 

"DOcoiTunnT), becoa, bo^ib, baiibctiit-a, bocroba, at, arluni, 

annia]iT:aca, tiyilam, an^baiD, i^i^alac, neninec, nicrca, 

nanTDemccil 'Dctnctiii; -nana, "oujiciiaiDecct, anmai^^aicb, 

anbli, albmaiiDa ^aiU, ^oiim^lctf cc, genrliDi ; can co^ill, 

can coDUf, can aririn, can coina]ici T)0 T)^a no T)0 TJiini. 

Their baraji leo fen T)0 f efiral cara ocuf comlainD afa cin-o, 

weapons, i^qi^ci pc^i, pcocfacha, puleca, poji'oef^a, piii^ifi, pfir- 

baccanaca, ^e]\a, ^o^Xlz^, ^uneca, o^mafia, crci, acbeli, 

nia-a, nemneca ajx na pobjieT», ocuf a|i na pofiiamnaT), a 

pulib T)|iecon, if lof ceni), if -oobof naif ac, tiif pf ec, if cof p 

If on con if nccTfac aiinemneac, necfamail apcena, va 

cairium fein ocuf va mbfiicaTi inn naipi^nb aij;, i]^ 

if^ali, if enpuinna. baraf leofen faigit^bmlc ba-oba, 

bafbaf-oa, ociif bo^aTya blari blabuiT)! ; ociif Lai 5111 

bonna, lecan^lafa, ^efa, 5a]iba, remniT), 1 lamaib let;- 

meca, 'oana, 'oiif -oibef^ac leo. Octraf leo, rfa, liifeca 

lainT)efT»a, lurmaf "oa, t;f e'oualaca, T;iionia, Tjfenrf ebf aiT) 

Tto lapiniT) aiT;, aiilegra, ociif -oiinia ininuaf , nemep ^idi, 

fe T»i-in cofp, ociif cnef, ociif cen-omullaij;, -Dib a]"i 

afmaib ari, ai^beb, ociif af ilpaebfaib, ilib, ajmafa. 

1 One place. CCn cten lonax), B. 

* A conflict. Cix) Z)xa ace ba 
coiiTOal, B. 

3 Wounding. Om., B. In the next 
line B. omits " and the men of Brefni," 
and adds after " Laighin" yie ceile, 
" together," or " with each other." 

*0J that battle, bacccqx TDTia -Don 
'oaifxct leic "Don cctc fin, B. We 
have here an extravagant specimen 

of the heaping together alliterative 
epithets, in which the Irish bardic 
writers took delight. To find English 
equivalents for such absurd verbosity 
is no very profitable or easy task : there 
are here something like twenty-seven 
adjectives strung together before Ave 
come to the substantive they are in- 
tended to describe. The coiTesponding 
passage in B. is as follows : 5l,úiii, 



XCI. But now the fleet returned, and came to one place ^ ; Assembling 
both the foreigners of Ath-Cliath and the Laighin, and they ^^^.^^^^ 
formed seven great strong battalions. And then ensued 
a conflict,^ wrestling, wounding,^ noisy, bloody, crimsoned, 
terrible, fierce, quarrelsome: that conflict of the Dal Cais 
and the men of Munster, and of Conacht, and of the men 
of Brefni, and of the foreigners, and of the Laighin. 

Now on the one side of that battle'' were the shouting. Description 

I , r- 1 f 1 lt Ti i- n • of the forces 

hateiul, poweriul, wrestinig, vahant, active, nerce-movmg, ^,f ^^^ 
dangerous, nimble, violent, furious, unscrupulous, untam- enemy, 
able, inexorable, unsteady, cruel, barbarous, frightful, 
sharp, ready, huge, prepared, cunning, warlike, poisonous, 
murderous, hostile Danars ; bold, hard-hearted Danmark- 
ians, surly, piratical foreigners, blue-green, pagan; with- 
out reverence, without veneration, without honour, without 
mercy, for God or for man. These had for the purposes of Their 
battle and combat, and for their defence,^ sharp, swift, ""^apons. 
bloody, crimsoned, bounding, barbed, keen, bitter, wounding, 
terrible, piercing, fatal, mm"derous, poisoned arrows, which 
had been anointed and browned in the blood of dragons 
and toads, and water-snakes of hell, and of scorpions and 
otters, and wonderful venomous snakes of all kinds, to be 
cast and shot at active and warlike, and valiant chieftains. 
They had with them hideous, barbarous, quivers; and 
polished, yellow-shining bows ; and strong, broad green, 
sharp, rough, dark spears, in the stout, bold, hard hands 
of freebooters. . They had also with them polished, pliable, 
triple-plated, heavy, stout, corslets of double refined iron, 
and of cool uncorroding brass, for the protection of their 
bodies, and skin, and skulls, from sharp terrible arms, and 
from all sorts of fearful weapons. They had also with 

jlonnmap,, jlipTOec, i;lu|^TTiaiT., 
jaiac, gleacac, jriiotiiac, gaiificc- 
Ijeo'óa, c|\uaix)e, comnairica, clogax: 
caetn, cuiiiTjacca [cLoTOiiie], -plerii- 
n u, vh pea, |^Li^^5eaia,5eai\,5lan a, 
goYXTiijla^pa, luij^nec, la^^ifiac, tain- 
'De1^'óa, veya, -Dioifisa, 7301111156010, 
fiuiyiec ocuy^ iiijniileT) leu \:]l^ 

leaTDixa-D ocu-p pyii haiii,leac, ocu-p 
pifti liaécuma ctie-p, ocuy^ co)xp, ocur 
cen-Dmullaij -Diblinib. All that 
follows in the text is omitted in B. 
to the end of chap. xcii. 

5 Defence. Lit. , ' ' over their heads : " 
Tfiey^cal is for pyiepcal ; the p omitted 
as usual in D. 


cObCC"Dln scceT)liel ne ^cdlccibli. 

of Brian 

bcrcaii, TDna, leo claiT)mi calma, cii]icrccf, qioma, ro1^r- 

bulleca, railci, 1:^1611«, zwythzeca. 

Description XCII. OcTCcqi, 1111011110, "Don leic ele 111 cam y^^^, 

cuiiai-D ciio-DCf, coiiiccdincc ; ^cci^iictiT), ^laii^ei-icrca.luimctiia, 

lerniectc, laiicccliiict, iiieii'Dcc, 1110115111 mac, iillac, alaniT), 

allara, biiurac, biii^ac, boiiiipiiDacli, iiiaTiiT)a, iitia^el, 

neiiieiaT:nec, a^TTiaii, eii^ac, ilbua-oac ; qieic ocuf "aifi^ 

riienl, ocui" T-iienniiliT) laec ^ali, ocuf gaif ctd, eni^, ocuf 

en^iitinia e-iieiiD .1. I11 liia-Di le-iioin \\o biiif cac riien, 

ocuf 110 inani cac iioo, ocuf iio I1115 cac "Docaiii, ocvii^ i^o 

loniaiii cac zyiex) ceiro .1. Claiina Lu^'Deac itiic Oeii^iifa 

'dl'115, |iif a iiareix "Oalcaif boiiaiiia, ocui^ ^eiun-ai ^lan- 

5ai'T;a goeDel «ii oen iiiii. 

Pane<nTic CiíiiUT) iiTCaiiilai^reac fill i"ie niacaib ITlilecco aii 1115- 

on the Dal -oacT", ocuf ai^ jiolo^uT), ccii qieoiii, ociif ail aiiibeini;, ocuf 

The Franks ^l^ inTctigiT). Piiaiiic iia Vorla poiiDaiiiDi, ail gllCUf, OCUf 

and Israel- aji ^ban^aifcei) .1. Trieic aibDa, alii, uafli, ilbuaDaca, 

Ireland. Ifiiacil ncrce-iieiiT) illcrcai^a, ail caDi, ocuf aii cinilacT:, 

The lions of «11 ^111.111111, ocuf ail iiiyiaciif- Leoinani lomia, lecaiiraca, 

the Gael. tetiiTieca Titt iigoe'Del, ai^ ^ail, ocuf aii ^aifcei), ocuf aii 

do^c^s^of^ Smrtiiia'D. Oiicoin ori, at;liiiiia na banba biKroaici, aii 

Ireland. icttlci ocuf ail ralcaiiiBcu. •Sebinc fuaiici ixniifenga na 

The hawks liQoupa alii, aDiiain, 111 1^ nan ^abcro ccrc no caT:iiai no 

of Europe. , ,. , 

cliorac no conilonT) inani iieniifin, no an-ofin pein. 
Oa, Dna, leo do iiefral cara ocui' coniloint), ofa cinx», 

iplega f uaiici, f emneca, picnaf aca, pi'Dcainii, piananila p\i 
Their arms «Hi pimDciiill. Ociia boDba biiiaiíi, CO fuarneniaib y^za, 
andar- faineniail, consiian rainn^nib, slana, s;loiiT)a, slainiT)!, 

mour. ' ' 'vi «Ji <- 

T)a man -DibiuiciiD piii naiiiign bai^ ocny iiigaili. Ocrcaii 
leo, Dna, lenT:i lebi^a, lain'oeiia, ciiana coema, cnepgela, 
cun^a, coin, comcoema. OaT:aii leo, -ona, inaiii alii, illa- 
Daca, cnefT:a, coema, cuniDCici^a, cBT^yianranaca, coenia. 

1 Weight. í^uaT)!. Lif., "lead." 

2 iVf«7*'. The MS. D. has here 
congn^ifian ; but the t;n are a mani- 
fest mistake which the scribe probably 

forgot to erase. The correct reading 
coii5ixan has been adopted in the 


them valorous, heroic, hea^^, hard-striking, strong, power- 
ful, stout swords. 

XCII. But on the other side of that battle were Descriptiou 
brave, valiant champions ; soldierly, active, nimble, bold, "^ ^^^^^ * 
full of coiu'age, quick, doing great deeds, pompous, beau- 
tiful, aggressive, hot, strong, swelling, bright, fresh, never- 
weary, terrible, valiant, victorious heroes and chieftains, 
and champions, and brave soldiers, the men of liigh deeds, 
and honour, and renown of Erinn; namely, the heavy 
weight^ that broke down ^very stronghold, and cleft 
every way, and sprang over every obstacle, and flayed 
every stout head, that is to say, the descendants of 
Lugaidh, son of Oenghus Tirech, who are called the Dal 
Cais of Bonimha, and the stainless intelligent heroes of 
the Gaidliil along^ with them. 

These were a tribe worthy of being compared with the Panegyric 
sons of Miledh, for kingliness and great renown, for energy, ?f .^^*^ ^**^ 
and dignity, and mai'tial prowess. They were the Franks 'j-he Franks 
of ancient Fodhla, in intelligence and pure valour ; the f "d Israel- 
comely, beautiful, noble, ever- victorious sons of Israel Ireland. 
of Erinn, for virtue, for generosity, for dignity, for truth, 
and for worth ; the strong, teaiing, brave lions of the The lions of 
Gaedhil, for valour and bold deeds ; the terrible, nimble, *^^ ^^^^' 
wolf-hounds of victorious Banba, for streng-th* and for (^offs^f 
firmness ; the graceful, symmetrical hawks of mild Ireland. 
Europe, against whom neither battle, nor battle-field, nor T^ie hawks 
conflict, nor combat was ever before, nor then was, main- 

And these had for tlie purposes of battle and combat. Their ai-ms 
above their heads, spears glittering, well riveted, em- ^"*^ ''^^■" 

'1 & G' ^ ' mour. 

poisoned, with weU-shaped, heroic, beautiful handles of 
white hazle ; terrible sharp darts with variegated silken 
strings; thick set with bright, dazzling, shining nails,^ 
to be violentl}'^ cast at the heroes of valour and bravery. 
They had on them also, long, glossy, convenient, handsome, 

^Violently, tlian is for iTDicm, I the MS. D., omitting the letter eclipsed 
according to the usual orthography of | in pronunciation. 



co5CCT)1i ^cceT)liel Re ^ccllccibli. 

coinrq^aca 'Dctii fcuiiT)ib imaiici, firlebiia leo. Oorqi 
leo, T)iia, -jxeir; mo|icc, nulercc, e-jiocca, alb, lUctrctca, co 
com]iaTDib coin ciaeT)iima, co flabjia-oaib p\i ctlli piiit)- 
l"miii, qi i^lefcob foeiiclaiiT) foeiibeyccc, fiutii^c, fegainT), 
l^ocoinaiiiT), leo. Ocrca]i leo, vna, cathw]\\i ciiutca, po- 
lioiiDa, co n^eTiiaib 5lol^'Da, glaniT)!, co le^ccib lain'De|i'Da, 
logmaiia, nn ceiTOCtib iaii]ieccc if f i^ iTiileT). Ocrcqa leo 
riio^ct rfomci, raiT)leca, riiena, rol5;'Da, rccicnemctca, bejia, 
gluctif, glcnniT)!, lerna, Iniircc Loclannaccc, illamcnb 
•cjiiar, ocuf -caifeac, rf erel, ocuf ■ciienmileT), p^ii flaiT)i, 
ociif -pjii riiaf cam luf eac lurina]x 'Diiiilniec T)ib. Oaraf , 
7)11«, leo claiT)mi c|iuaT)i, comne|\T:a, colcoa, coema, 
cuni-Dacoa, flermicc, fbpra, flif^ela, ■geyia, ^lana, gofTn- 
^Utf a, linneca laj^a^ira, lainDefoa, 'oeff a 'o^\>.^^^ 'oeocbfi^ 
emi, ah, acluma, inT)0'Dib -oef f a, 'Boini'D^ela, luiiieac ocuf 
fii^imile'D leo, pyii leo-o ociif pfi lerixa-o, pi^i haijileac 
ocuf fin haT:ciinia cnef, ocuf cofp, ocuf cenDinulac "Dib. 
XCIII. Tnaif5 1K( ]\o ingaib in nniinri|i fin 'ooneoc 
nap, af fiaf aigefi^aif . TTlaifs fo io'otiifc a fof^laini 
Doneoc ica pabi qcmain^ a mm^abala. ITlaifg fo 
infai5 t)oneoc nac infai§fioif ; of ba fnani in na^aix) 
ffora ; ba hefap^ain 'oap ac vu 'DOfn'oaib ; ba fal f e 
mbfiiccu'D fobapra ; ba -gar: im ganem, no im Tifian ; 
ba "DOfnT) 1 n^ae n^feni, cfiall fpefoail cara no 
comlamT) 'ooib ; Dai^ ni ba f nail in ni pif ba famalra 
gayib^leo ocnf cfuaT) cun'Dfcleo na laecfaiT)i fin T)© 
Disposition XCIV. CiT), qia acc, fa ofoai^i-, ocuf fo conpai^iT: 
of theene- ^^^ ccrcct cecT^afoa fon cuma fein. 'Cuca'o zna T:ofac ic 

my s forces. ' ^ ' ' ' 

Danger of 
an encoun- 
ter with 

^Bronze. 'Pin'Di\uni. See above, 
pp. 50, 94, 115. 

- Who did not yield. B. reads, get 
nibia'6 acpaing a mn^abaUt, " if it 
was possible to escape from it :" omit- 
ting "woe to those who aroused their 

3 Pummelling. B. reads, ocuf ba 

■» Swelling. ■mu^xbiT.tJcbc, B. 

5 It was. " And it was," ocuf ba, 

6 Tkejist. B. reads, ocuf ba 'DO^xn 
ini 5oe. 

7 Attempt. B. omits p)ief call. 

8 For. T)ói5 ni f uaiLl, B. 

9 Warriors. B. adds (after ria 
laec-jxai'De fin) úiy\ la láiii i nex) 


white, neat, well-adjusted, graceful shirts. They had on 
them also, beautiful, many-coloured, well-fitting, hand- 
some, well-shaped, well-adjusted, enfolding tunics, over 
comfortable long vests. They had with them also, great 
warlike, bright, beautiful, variegated shields, mth bosses 
of brass, and elegant chains of bronze, ' at tlie sides of their 
noble, accomphshed, sWeet, courteous, eloquent clansmen. 
They had on them also, crested golden helmets, set with 
sparkHng transparent brilliant gems and precious stones, 
on the heads of chiefs and royal knights. They had with 
them also, shining, powerful, strong, graceful, sharp, 
glaring, bright, broad, well-set Lochlann axes, in the hands 
of chiefs and leaders, and heroes, and brave knights, for 
cutting and maiming the close well-fastened coats of mail. 
They had with them, steel, strong, piercing, graceful, 
ornamental, smooth, shaip-pointed, 1;)right-sided, keen, 
clean, azure, glittering, flashing, brilliant, handsome, 
straight, well-tempered, quick, sharp swords, in the beauti- 
ful white hands of chiefs and royal knights, for hewing 
and for hacking, for maiming and mutilating skins, and 
bodies, and skulls. 

XCIII. Woe unto all who shunned not this people. Danger of 
who did not yield unto them.^ Woe to those who aroused terwith' " 
theh' anger, if it was possible to escape from it. Woe to t^^^™- 
those who attacked them, if they could have avoided 
attacking them ; for it was swimming against a stream ; 
it was pummelling^ an oak with fists; it was a hedge 
against the swelling'* of a spring- tide ; it was^ a string uj^on 
sand or a sim-beam; it was the fist^ against a sun-beam, 
to attempt^ to give them battle or combat ; for^ it is not 
easy to conceive any horror equal to that of arousing the 
fierce battle and hard conflict of these warriors.^ 

XCIY. So these battalions were arranged and disposed^" Disposition 
in the following manner. ^^ The foreigners and the ^y'sy°es. 

5|nt5i, ocui"" bet coll palxic i/eoriiaiii 
•DO neoc «5110, ocu^-» peTvcclx)inne na 
l/aocYiaTOe -pm 'do cotJuyxaT). 

It' Disposed. B. omits ocur \\o 

11 Manner, \lo•^^ y^aiiiail pn, B. 



co^ccDli ^cce'oliel ne sccllccibti. 

Leaders of 
the Danes 
of Dublin. 

of the Irish 
who were 
on the 

Sctllcdb ocuf ic Laipnb T)onci -Danai^iib -oibeiiccnb all- 
mqiT)aib i"'in, t)0 biiorqi iqila Caip.i Gbjioc, ruifeac 
"Danaii, im Conmael, mac a Tnarayi, ociif im Siucccit) mac 
Loraifi, Kqila ^^^y^ Op.c, octif im piair, rp.en milix) ^all 
lib, ocii^^ CCnjKrc mac Glb^iic mac in LoclaiiT), ociif 
Cayilluf, ocuf T3o|ibenT) -oub, ocuv 3iinin, ocui^ i?iianin, 
ociif maci sail ia|it;aiii Co^ipa o LoclaiiTD fuqi, a]\ oeii 
pu fill. T)a fonat), imoffo, cipi oen cara cpuiriT) 
com Of DO ^allaib CCra Cliaé uli, ociif zucan in a ne^aiT) 
fen é .1. 1 iiDKiT) iia nanmap^ac. Ho barap pompopiDC, 
"Oubjall mac CCmlaib, ocup 'gillaciapan mac ^li'nn- 
lapaiiiT) mic CCmlaib, ocnp T)oiicaT) net hOpuilb, ocnp 
CCmlaib LapnanTO mac ^oppaiT), .i. cerpi pi^Domna 
^all. barap p-ompo, -ona, Orrl|^ -Diib, ocup 'Sr-if"^ ocup 
Lummiii ocup SnaD^aip .i. cerpi ippi^ ^all, ocup cerp.i 
T:oipi5 lou^pi, ocup maT:hi ^all OpeiiT) apoen piu pen. 
T)o ponax) -oan oen car vo La^in, ocup DUib Cen-opelai^, 
ocup rucaT) pe palaib pin é. Oarap pompopen Dna, 
TDoelmopDa, mac mupca-Da, pig Lagen, ocup Ooeran, 
mac "Dunlain-, pi ^apraip La^en, ocup T)unlan5, mac 
"cuarail, pi Lipi, ocup Opo^opban, mac Concobuip, pi u 
■pal^i, ocup 'Domnall, mac "Pepsaile, pi popxuarh Lagen, 
ocup mar:hi Lo^en apcena. 

^Placed in. TticaT) "Dtia, B. The 
meaning is, that the foreigners who 
had established themselves in Ireland, 
and who were in alliance with the 
Leinstermen, put their Danish and 
Norwegian auxiliaries in the front of 
the battle. 

^Murderous. B. omits -Dibeiicaib. 

^ Under Brodar. B. reads, .1. b lao- 
"Daifnaifitacoipech -oanaifi; omitting 
" of Caer Ebroc." 

*Siucaid. A mistake in the MS. 
D. for Siucraid. See above, p. 153, 
note 10. B. reads Sitriuc. 

5 Elbric. " Anrad, son of Elbric," 

^ Suanin. Im Cayilup ocup nil 

ToTfibeiTo "Dub, ocup im Suntini, 
ocup im -81101111111, B. : " With Carina 
and with Torbend the black, and with 
Suimhni and with Suainni." 

''' Along with them. B. reads, maice 
gall e-fienn uile ayx aon yiiu pein, 
" the nobles of the foreigners of all 
Erinn along with them." 

8 Strong. CyiuitTo cengcnlce com- 
muyi, B. 

^ After. Ina T)iai5 pin "he, .1. 
amjicng na nT)aniha|icc, B. 

10 Head. OcrcccTa laompa pin, .1 
B., where the names of the chieftains 
are given thus : " Dubhgall, son of 
Amlaf, and Donchad, grandson of 
Erulf, and Amlaf, son of Lagmann 



Laiglien placed^ in the front the mui'derous^ foreign 
Danars, under Brodar,^ earl of Caer Ebroc, chieftain of the 
Danars; with Conmael, his mother's son, and with Siu- 
caid/ son of Lotar, earl of the Ore Islands, and with Plait, 
the bravest knight of all the foreigners, and with Anrath, 
son of Elbric,^ son of the king of Lochlann, and Carlus, and 
Torbenn the black, and Sunin, and Suanin,'' and the 
nobles of the foreigners of western Europe, from Lochland 
westwards, along with them." A line of one very gi'eat 
strong^ battalion was formed of all the foreigners of Ath 
Cliath, and it was placed after^ the above, that is after 
the Danmarkians. At their head^" were Dubhgall, son Leaders of 
of Amlaf, and Gilla Ciarain son of Glun-iaraind, son of ^f Dublin. 
Amlaf, and Donchad, grandson of Erulf, and Amlaf Lag- 
mund, son of Goffraidh, the four crown princes of the 
foreigners. At their head also, were Ottir'' the black, 
and Grisin, and Lummin, and Snadgair, four petty- 
kings of the foreigners, and fom- chieftains of ships, and 
the nobles of the foreigners of Erinn along with them. 
A battalion'^ was also formed of the Laighin and of Disposition 
the Ui Cennselaigh, and it was placed behind'^ the above. ^^j^Q^^.g^ig*^ 
And at the head of them were Maelmordlia, son of Mur- on the 
chadh,^* king of Laighin, and Boetan, son of Dunlang, gj^"^* 
king of western Laighin, ' ^ and Dunlang, son of Tuathal, xheir 
king of Liphi, and Brogorban, son of Conchobhar, king of leaders. 
Ui Failghi, and Domhnall, son of Fergal, king of the 
Forthuagha of Laighin, and the nobles of Laighin hke- 
wise. ^ ^ 

son of Gofraidli, four crown princes of 
the foreigners." But thre